The winner of this year’s Nobel Literature Prize is the Japanese-born British author, Kazuo Ishiguro. Already a highly acclaimed author, Ishiguro was described by the Swedish Body as an author “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.
However, to many it seems Ishiguro played the role of the dark horse in the run up to the decision, even claiming himself he thought it may have been a hoax. Perhaps it is true that his most famous works Never Let Me Go and the favoured The Remains of The Day were written a considerable time ago. Regardless, both have been made into critically acclaimed movies, starring Emma Thompson, Carey Mulligan and Anthony Hopkins, and are undoubtedly stunningly emotive pieces of literature.
Never Let Me Go tackles issues associated with morality and cloning, a boarding school setting which doubles up as an organ harvesting factory. The Remains of The Day was written to portray an old English aristocrat era with ties to Nazi Germany, exploring raw human emotion in a study of both class and personality. His other works include Nocturns, A Pale View Of Hills, When We Were Orphans, Unconsoled, and his own take on the fairy tale genre, ‘The Buried Giant’. With these novels having being translated into over forty languages, Ishiguro breaks through constraints of nationality and his novels resonate with readers across the globe.
Despite some criticism in its previous awarding, The Nobel Prize board’s decision has been highly regarded. For many of us, Ishiguro’s novels are on a new level of brilliance. It takes great skill to invent intricate plot lines, effortless in tone, that encompass delicate descriptions while remaining highly analytical of human emotions and relationships. Ishiguro is a writer with great integrity, showing no sign of slowing down. His latest novel, The Buried Giant shifts focus to memory in a whole new dimensional setting of magic, while presenting obvious historical ties to early settlers. It is with this novel the Nobel Prize Board praised Ishiguro on “how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality”.
The Nobel Prize is only the next addition to Kazuo Ishiguro’s long line of recognition for his highly moving novels. These include the Man Booker Prize back in 1989, Costa Book Award in 1986, and an OBE in 1995.
Words by Megan Tarbuck