Tom Maremaa

Location Mountain View, California
Occupation Author

Books by Tom Maremaa
  • by Tom Maremaa
    Kunati Inc., 2009.

  • by Tom Maremaa
    iUniverse, 2000.

  • by Tom Maremaa
    iUniverse, 2000.
  • About Me

    I'm the author of twelve novels, the latest of which "Reykjavik: A Novel," is available at <>.

    My novel "Metal Heads" was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the American Library Association (ALA) and published by Kunati Books in the Spring of 2009. I've also written a spate of short fiction, novellas, one-act plays and long pieces of journalism, as well as some nonfiction books. As a graduate of Dartmouth College, I studied languages, literature and philosophy at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, as a James B. Reynolds Scholar, and worked on my Ph.D in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Ford Foundation Fellow. I live with my wife in Silicon Valley, California, and work as a software engineer in the Valley. I travel widely to learn about and understand as many cultures and languages as I can.

    Why do you write?

    What fuels my creativity is my passion to get to the truth of things. I'm there to reflect the changing times and to provide a voice for those need to be heard. I'm there to see things that haven't been seen before. I'm there to uncover the elements of darkness embedded deep within the American experience and bring them up toward the light.

    When Orhan Pamuk, the great Turkish writer, received the Nobel Prize for Literature a few years ago, he delivered a beautiful speech, entitled “My Father’s Suitcase,” which was translated and reprinted in the New Yorker. There’s a paragraph in the speech I liked because it went to the heart of things, in the kind of exhaustive detail you don’t find too often in a culture of fluff.

    In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Pamuk frames the issue this way:

    "The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write?
    "I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten.
    "I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.”

    Any favorite authors? Books?

    My writing comes out of the black humor tradition that I grew up with in the sixties. Authors like Nabokov, Barth and Pynchon, as well as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, William Wharton and Ken Kesey, all helped to shape my writing style and consciousness.

    Most recently, I've drawn inspiration from the works of J.M. Coetzee and Roberto Bolano.

    If you want to discuss literature, philosophy, art or music with me (as well as computer science), you can reach me at or visit me at my website <>.

    I'm near completion of a new work of fiction which runs about 625 pages (over 150,000 words). I'll let you know how it goes and what it's about, as soon as it's ready for public consumption.

    Tom Maremaa's Wall

    Corey Zeller – Nov 15, 2008


    I really liked what you wrote about that author's speech. It was very beautiful.

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