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SWEDEN: Nobel Prize Winner - Who Is Kazuo Ishiguro?

By Published October 05, 2017

Japanese-born English author Kazuo Ishiguro has been named winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in literature. The Swedish Academy praised Ishiguro for his “novels of great emotional force”, which it said had “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.

Reacting to the news of his win, the author said that in an age of ‘fake news’, he didn’t believe the news that he had won, and said the world has entered a ‘very uncertain time’. His most famous novels, The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were adapted into highly acclaimed films and he was made an OBE in 1995. Who is Kazuo Ishiguro? Here is all you need to know about the British novelist.

Ishiguro was born in Japan and moved to the UK with his family when he was five, where he grew up. He studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia and became a full-time writer after publishing his first novel ‘A Pale View of the Hills’ in 1982.

‘The Remains of the Day’, which was turned into a film with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, won Ishiguro the Booker prize in 1989. He wrote the novel in four weeks by doing what he called a “crush” where he did nothing but write from 9 am to 10.30 pm, Monday through Saturday and did not go near his phone.

‘Never Let Me Go’ followed in 2005, it is another of Ishiguro’s bestsellers that has also been adapted to a film starring Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Ishiguro’s most recent work ‘The Buried Giant’ was published in March 2015.

Permanent secretary of the academy Sara Danius described the novelist’s work as a mix of “Jane Austen and Franz Kafka”.

Danius said Ishiguro was a “writer of great integrity”.

Salman Rushdie, also seen as a contender for the prize “congratulated Ishiguro” saying: “Many congratulations to my old friend Ish, whose work I’ve loved and admired ever since I first read A Pale View of Hills.”

Former poet laureate Andrew Motion said of Ishiguro: “Among other means, by resting his stories on founding principles which combine a very fastidious kind of reserve with equally vivid indications of emotional intensity. It’s a remarkable and fascinating combination, and wonderful to see it recognised by the Nobel prize-givers.”

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