Culture

Japan congratulates Nobel victor Kazuo Ishiguro

Japan congratulates Nobel victor Kazuo Ishiguro”

The selection of the 62-year-old Ishiguro marked a return to traditional literature following two years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Academy for the 9-million-kronor (US$1.1 million) prize.

The academy said that Ishiguro's eight books are works of emotional force that uncover "the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

For those who had never heard of the author of "The Remains of the Day" and other award-winning novels, the name that flashed across smartphones and TV screens was puzzling - it was undoubtedly Japanese-sounding, but written in the local script reserved for foreign names and words.

Ishiguro's latest novel, "The Buried Giant", in which an elderly couple go on a road trip through an Arthurian England populated by ogres and dragons, "explores ... how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality", the Academy said.

Ishiguro would explain that he saw the butler as a metaphor for both emotional and political detachment.

The 1993 film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson was nominated for eight Academy Awards. Born in Japan but raised in the United Kingdom, the author is known for how The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go, and his other novels captured memory's lasting pain and risky illusions in precise and elegant prose.

Yesterday morning, the world waited in baited breath to find out which wordsmith would be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature following singer Bob Dylan's controversial win a year ago. "The Sankei daily boasted: "(Ishiguro) follows Yasunari Kawabata and Kenzaburo Oe as the third Japanese-born writer" to win the prize.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born on 8 November 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan.

"Japan is also home to a great number of his fans". So we thought that previous year was a straightforward choice - we picked one of the greatest poets in our time.

He studied English and philosophy at the University of Kent and found an early mentor in Malcolm Bradbury, who taught creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

Kazuo Ishiguro has been a full-time author ever since his first book, A Pale View of Hills (1982).

His 1986 novel "An Artist of the Floating World", in which a Japanese artist looks back on his life, was a finalist for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction.

Information for this article was contributed by Jim Heintz and David Keyton of The Associated Press.



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