Katie Kitamura was born in 1979 and lives in California. Japanese for Travellers is her first book.
Katie Kitamura, author of Japanese for Travellers answers our questions...
Will the printed word endure?
Yes. Or at least, I hope so.
Which newspaper do you read?
The New York Times.
Who/What is your biggest influence?
It depends. At the moment, I've become addicted to watching old Hitchcock movies from the Thirties - things like Sabotage, The Secret Agent, Blackmail, The Lodger. I'm also a great fan of anything to do with cookery: telegenic celebrity chefs, weekly food columns and restaurant reviews, glossy hardbound cookbooks, Le Creuset kitchenware.
What books are you reading at the moment?
Turgenev's A Sportsman's Notebook.
What books did you read as a child?
I had a set of collected fairy tale volumes - they were called, individually, something like The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, The Violet Fairy Book, and so on. Towards the end they seemed to be reaching somewhat for their titles, judging by the unlikely sounding The Olive Fairy Book, and the even more unlikely The Brown Fairy Book.
Which literary character would you most like to meet?
I'd like for Uncle Toby to show me his kitchen garden. I'd also like to meet Gwendolyn Harleth, in the period before her marriage to Grandcourt. And maybe also Pnin, who I like to consider, despite knowing better, a kind of stand-in for Nabokov.
Which authors do you most admire?
Granted there's a lot to admire in a lot of different writers - but if I had to draw a list at random, it would include Joan Didion, Philip Roth, Haruki Murakami, Alan Hollinghurst, W.G. Sebald, Kenzaburo Oe, Norman Mailer, Vikram Seth, Bret Easton Ellis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Richard Ford.
Where/When do you do most of your writing?
In the early morning, with a cup of tea.