The eleventh of thirteen children--yes, thirteen--Aonghas (pron. "Ennis") Crowe is an author, freelance writer and translator, and blogger. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he currently splits his time between Japan and Lebanon. Four of Crowe's works are now available on Kindle. Follow Crowe's tweets @AonghasCrowe or friend him on Facebook.
Interview with Fukuoka Now, March 2011:
"As a foreigner living in Japan, reading Aonghas Crowe’s novels can be like receiving an understanding pat on the back. Like many of us, Crowe’s plans to leave Japan and head back home were derailed. Sound familiar? Nineteen years on, his wealth of experience living here as an ex-pat has given him plenty to write about. Set in none other than Fukuoka, his two novels, No. 6 (High Times and Hard Time in Japan) and A Woman’s Nails explore the complexities of a foreigner’s life in Japan. Ranging from failed quests for love with Japanese women, alcohol and substance abuse, the Japanese judicial system, friendships, family, and the daily perplexities of life in this country, you’re sure to relate in some way to the protagonist. In between bouts of writing, Crowe also dabbles in teaching at universities, translating essays by Haruki Murakami, and is currently compiling an atlas of Japanese dialects. Fascinating! In our interview, Crowe details his thoughts on life in Japan and where you can grab a copy of his novels. Continue reading interview here.
Interview with the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (15 December 2011)
The Proust Questionnaire
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I don't dare to put it into words out of fear that it might come true.
- Where would you like to live?
I'd like to be a gypsy, roaming from place to place for weeks or months at a time, but always returning to one of four places I call "home": Fukuoka, Japan; Beirut, Lebanon; Portland, Oregon; and, Honolulu, Hawaii.
- What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Success in writing, the freedom to live wherever I like that such success permits, and a large, loving family.
- To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
The reluctance to ask others to do things for me.
- Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Kilgore Trout (in Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, Timequake, etc.). Jesus Christ. Florentino Ariza (Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera), David Kepesh (in Philip Roth's The Breast, The Professor of Desire, and The Dying Animal), Holden Caulfield (J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye), and so on.
- Who are your favorite characters in history?
All the leading characters in that greatest drama of all: WWII. FDR, a man who enjoyed great privilege and yet was able to connect with the common man like few presidents ever have. Churchill. So eloquent! So drunk! (Read about his daily drinking habits here) Hitler. He was such a damaged human being. No writer could come up with a character as utterly flawed as the man yet so effectively destructive: a one-testicled, vegetarian, anti-Semite, homophobe, a-sexual frustrated artist and dictator. Stalin. Pure evil. Hirohito, considered by his subjects to be a living god, he led his country (or failed to lead) to its destruction.
- Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Mika Ninagawa (photographer, director of the film Sakuran), Sophia Copola (director), Shiina Ringo (musician), Elizabeth Fraser (singer), Simone de Beauvoir.
- Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
I've been wracking my brain to think of some, but only Midori Kobayashi (Murakami's Norwegian Wood) comes to mind. I'll get back to this later.
- Your favorite painter?
- Your favorite musician?
There are far too many to list here. At the moment I'm listening to Gabriel Fauré, and Claud Debussy a lot. On the other end of the musical spectrum, I've often got my head plugged into the tunes of Boards of Canada, Kevin Yost, and Sigur Ros. Whatever allows me to concentrate on my writing or helps me tap into the mood I'm trying to put into words.
- The qualities you most admire in a man?
Humor, competence, diligence.
- The quality you most admire in a woman?
The ability to listen.
- Your favorite virtue?
Ambition, polite assertiveness.
- Your favorite occupation?
Architect. And I don't mean the kind that redecorate bathrooms. Honest to God architects who build things to last many generations beyond themselves. That and anything related to the arts. I admire the ability to make something from virtually nothing--whole worlds filled with characters from nothing but letters and punctuation, and so on. Author.
- Who would you have liked to be?
Kurt Vonnegut, Alex Kerr, Donald Richie, JFK, Hemingway, Henry Miller