top of page

"Disillusioned with life in Glasgow, I sold everything I had and left for a new life in a remote fishing village in Japan. I knew nothing of the language or the new land that I would call home for the next seven years.” — John Gerard Fagan

An experimental memoir written entirely on John's phone, Fish Town is a powerhouse of raw emotions. It reads like a book of poetry or a long text message. In the tone of Bukowski's Post Office, the book captures the experiences of a Scottish man in Japan with humor, wit, honesty, and by all means without an ounce of political correctness.  

Scroll down to read chapter one. Or have a listen to chapter three: Glasgow Airport.

Fish Town a memoir by John Gerard Fagan Guts Publishing
Glasgow AirportJohn Gerard Fagan
00:00 / 01:16

BBC Scotland - The Big Scottish Book Club and Fish Town 

The Big Scottish Book Club John Gerard Fagan

We are delighted to announce that John Gerard Fagan was a guest on The Big Scottish Book Club in December 2021. It was such a thrill for John to meet the host Damian Barr and give a reading from Fish Town at Troon Concert Hall. The guests also included Miriam Margolyes, Jackie Kay and Pete Paphides with some fascinating conversation about memoirs. It's on BBC iPlayer (Episode 6, Series 3) which you can watch here: 

What people are saying about Fish Town

"The book begins with such a profound sense of fuck this. John’s need to get out and do something else and see something else of the world is absolutely palpable." — Scot Lit Daily (read the full review here)

"Instantly giving off vibes of Post Office by Charles Bukowski. Fagan’s delivery is poignant and purposeful, with writing so crisp it’s easy to fly through the pages. Truly a book I will never forget." — Aidan Martin, Euphoric Recall 

"Through a series of free-verse snippets, Fagan takes us through his next six years — a time of loneliness, drunkenness, and screwed-upness, leavened by connections with students, other teachers, and (later) a Japanese actress and her cat. There aren’t many books I could not put down — this is one of them". — Thaddeus Rutkowski, Tricks of Light

Get the vibe of what it's like to live in Japan. This wonderful video, with footage of John in fish town, was created by John's twin brother Michael Fagan, who wrote and produced the music. Wait til you hear the song, these guys are both oozing with talent.

chapter one

only the truly lost wash up on the shore of Yaizu
a fish town in a forgotten part of Japan
faded posters of its 1960s glory days still littering the streets
but that’s where I was
April 2013
I took a walk to the sea
hoping for a beach to spend some time after work
but all that was there was a black water port and a tsunami wall that snaked around it
the Pacific waiting to devour
my flat was behind the destruction line
when the town was flooded I’d be safe
so said the extra 100 quid a month I was told to pay
safe and lost
29 years old
listening to the hum of an air conditioner to drown the silence
I thought I wouldn’t last a month
it was over six years before I made the long journey back home.

— John Gerard Fagan

John Gerard Fagan Guts Publishing

John Gerard Fagan is a Scottish writer from Muirhead in the outskirts of Glasgow, who currently lives in Edinburgh.


He has published close to a hundred short stories, essays, and poems in Scots, Scottish Gaelic, and English. Fish Town is his first book, detailing his life in Japan from 2013 - 2019.

The Fish Town cover art is a painting called ‘Forever Lost’ from 2005, painted by John on an old record sleeve. 

For more information visit:

Twitter: @JohnGerardFagan

Buy Fish Town today at:

Daunt Books Marylebone

84 Marylebone High St

London W1U 4QW

020 7224 2295

The Portobello Bookshop

46 Portobello High Street
Edinburgh EH15 1DA

0131 6296756

Books Kinokuniya Tokyo

6th floor, South Building

Takashimaya Times Square, 24-2,

Sendagaya 5-chome, Shibuya-ku,

Tokyo 151-0051 JAPAN

Phone: 03-5361-3316

Japan - visit

We ship to Japan. And worldwide. Take a look at our shipping costs:

bottom of page