Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

By
Ishiguro. Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature this year for novels that have “have uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world,” according to the Swedish Academy. Ishiguro’s two most famous works are The Remains of the Day, about an English butler grappling with love and loyalty to his employer, and the dystopian novel Never Let Me Go. Both received film adaptations, and The Remains of the Day won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989. “Ishiguro’s writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place,” the prize committee wrote in a statement Thursday. “At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic features.”

Ishiguro’s most recent novel is The Buried Giant, released in 2015. The committee said the book movingly showed “how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality.” Ishiguro is most associated with themes of memory, time, and self-delusion, according to the committee. “If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Kazuo Ishiguro in a nutshell, but you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix,” Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, told reporters Thursday. “Then you stir, but not too much, then you have his writings.”

Kazuo Ishiguro Wins the Nobel Prize in Literature