David Gordon: Big in Japan

David Gordon is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories, “White Tiger on Snow Mountain,” out this fall: NYT

For a week, I did interviews, met critics and fans, visited bookshops. Readers admired my views on literature and my deep understanding of women — things few readers (or women) think here. I traveled everywhere with an entourage, signing books aided by two assistants, one who held the book for me, another who blotted my signature with tissue. People toasted me and applauded my ability to eat with chopsticks or sign my name really big on a poster.

Then I came home to my daily routine. I live alone in book-filled rooms smaller than my Tokyo hotel suite. My bathtub doesn’t fill itself. I sit and write all day in silence. Then I go running or out with friends, who barely ever applaud. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine, but once in a while, as I eat a burrito and watch an old samurai film, I wonder how that other, more glamorous writer, David-san, the Second-Rate Novelist, is doing over there, where it’s already tomorrow.

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