इंडियन आवाज़     23 Mar 2018 12:34:16      انڈین آواز

Profile: Kazuo Ishiguro, Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

Kazuo Ishiguro

The English novelist of Japanese origin Kazuo Ishiguro, known for his spare yet emotionally resonate prose style and his inventive subversion of literary genres, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017. 

Kazuo Ishiguro was born on November 8, 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan. The family moved to the United Kingdom when he was five years old; he returned to visit his country of birth only as an adult. In the late 1970s, Ishiguro graduated in English and Philosophy at the University of Kent, and then went on to study 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). Both his first novel and the subsequent one, An Artist of the Floating World (1986) take place in Nagasaki a few years after the Second World War. The themes Ishiguro is most associated with are already present here: memory, time, and self-delusion. This is particularly notable in his most renowned novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), which was turned into film with Anthony Hopkins acting as the duty-obsessed butler Stevens.

Ishiguro’s writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place. At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic features. With the dystopian work Never Let Me Go (2005), Ishiguro introduced a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work. In this novel, as in several others, we also find musical influences. A striking example is the collection of short stories titled
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (2009), where music plays a pivotal role in depicting the characters’ relationships. In his latest novel, The Buried Giant (2015), an elderly couple go on a road trip through an archaic English landscape, hoping to reunite with their adult son, whom they have not seen for years. This novel explores, in a moving manner, how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality. Apart from his eight books, Ishiguro has also written scripts for film and television.

Bibliography – a selection

Works in English

A Pale View of Hills. – London : Faber & Faber, 1982

An Artist of the Floating World. – London : Faber & Faber, 1986

The Remains of the Day. – London : Faber & Faber, 1989

The Unconsoled. – London : Faber & Faber, 1995

When We Were Orphans. – London : Faber & Faber, 2000

Never Let Me Go. – London : Faber & Faber, 2005

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. – London : Faber & Faber, 2009

The Buried Giant. – London : Faber & Faber, 2015
Short Stories”A Strange and Sometimes Sadness”, ”Waiting for J.” and ”Getting Poisoned” in Introduction:
No. 7: Stories by New Writers. – London : Faber & Faber, 1981

”A Family Supper” in Firebird 2 : Writing Today / edited by T. J. Binding. – Harmondsworth :
Penguin, 1983

”The Summer After the War” in Granta, 1983:7
”October 1948” in Granta, 1985:17

”A Village After Dark” in The New Yorker, May 21, 2001

Film and Television

A Profile of Arthur J. Mason / directed by Michael Whyte ; screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1984
The Gourmet / directed by Michael Whyte ; screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1986

”The Gourmet” in Granta, 1993:43

The Remains of the Day / directed by James Ivory ; screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, 1993

The Saddest Music in the World / directed by Guy Maddin ; screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2003

The White Countess / directed by James Ivory ; screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005

Never Let Me Go / directed by Mark Romanek ; screenplay by Alex Garland, 2010

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