I’ve never read Kazuo Ishiguro before last year, and while my experience has been mixed (The Unconsoled=bleech, Never Let Me Go=love), I can still tell he is a great writer. He’s the author of things like Remains of the Day, stuff that seems like E.M. Forster territory. Anyway, I mention him, because despite these ultra-British stories, I totally assumed they were translations, that he was a writer from Japan writing far from England. With a name that’s so mega-Japanesese from top to bottom, left to right, like “Kazuo Ishiguro,” I thought, for sure, no way is English this guy’s first language. I was wrong! I’m racist! He’s married with kids and grew up in England, and is credited as being one of the top English writers demonstrating an uncanny understanding of English society. It’s funny that I assumed so much from his name, but you know what? Is it not weird that out of this guy’s multi-year, brilliant writing career, all the characters are white? I mean, of all the stories he imagines, none of them include a Japanese-English dude who keeps getting mistaken for white or something? I dunno. Struck me as odd, mostly, because I recently noticed the same thing in my writing. I actually have Korean characters in all my stories, but nothing they struggle with has to do with the fact that they are Korean, which I am beginning to think is a touch odd and speaks to some feeling of alienation I have toward my own ethnicity, you feel me?