AbeBooks' Reading Copy

AbeBooks book blog

Advanced Search Browse Books Rare Books Textbooks
Advanced Search

Kazuo Ishiguro wins the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature


Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is famous for the bestselling novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.

Never Let Me Go, published in 2005

He has only written eight books, but they are good ones. All widely translated and acclaimed by readers and critics around the world. Born in Japan in 1954, Ishiguro’s family moved to the UK when he was five and he studied English and philosophy at the University of Kent. He then studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His MA thesis was turned into his first novel, A Pale View of Hills, published in 1982. The novel is about a Japanese woman living in England struggling to come to terms with the death of her daughter.

Ishiguro won the Booker Prize in 1989 for The Remains of the Day. It tells the story of a butler whose employer was a Nazi sympathizer. The award confirmed his standing as a leading light in a new generation of British writers.

Published in 2005, Never Let Me Go tells the story a group of students at a boarding school living in a dystopian future. The film version starred Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan. Never Let Me Go turned Ishiguro into an international superstar in literary circles. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, he admitted that he wrote this novel in four weeks.

I would, for a four-week period, ruthlessly clear my diary and go on what we somewhat mysteriously called a “Crash”. During the Crash, I would do nothing but write from 9am to 10.30pm, Monday through Saturday. I’d get one hour off for lunch and two for dinner. I’d not see, let alone answer, any mail, and would not go near the phone. No one would come to the house.

Ishiguro has a distinct writing style featuring restrained prose. His novels are often narrated in the first person by unreliable narrators. Like many great writers, what isn’t said on the page is what really matters in his plots. The reader needs to grasp the difference between perception and reality. He has an acute grasp of Britain’s lingering class system.

He is comfortable switching between genres. His latest book, The Buried Giant, was published in 2015 and is a fantasy story set in Arthurian Britain. The Unconsoled is a surreal-like novel about a pianist in an unnamed European city. When We Were Orphans could be considered a detective novel.

The Folio Society published an attractive edition of Never Let Me Go in 2007 with illustrations by Finn Campbell-Notman.

Ishiguro was named an OBE in 1995. Past winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature include T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Alice Munro, Saul Bellow, Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel García Márquez and Toni Morrison.  Musician Bob Dylan was the controversial winner in 2016.

Find signed copies of Kazuo Ishiguro’s books

The Folio Society’s edition of Never Let Me Go

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

One Response to “Kazuo Ishiguro wins the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature”