In 1986, when I was 21, I lived in Tokyo for four months, boarding with a Japanese family and working for an American company.
I was 12. Our, teacher made us write an autobiography and I realised that I wasn't very interesting. I began to make things up, and that's when I thought maybe I was a writer, or at least a fiction writer.
In Japan, more than in any other country I've ever been in, one is not supposed to write about the people in the glass bubble; that is why they are in the glass bubble.
The difference between great actors and the rest of us isn't simply that they know how to make more out of less, but that, like lions at the watering hole, they will always take more than their share from the pool of available resources - extra air from the room, added knowledge from our faces.
Certain experiences you never forget, no matter how old you become.
For a couple of years at the end of the 1970s, Dustin Hoffman was a fixture in our family. My father was his lawyer and friend.
It is one thing to recognise certain potentially useful affinities, and another to act on them.
Let me begin by saying that I am one of those naturally wary people who considers the verb 'return' a kind of insidious threat.
Had I not gone to Japan in 1986, had I stayed home and majored in English literature as I'd intended to do, I might indeed have become an investment banker, an outcome that perhaps would have proved a more severe blow to the health of the U.S. economy than to the history of the novel.
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