Kazuo Ishiguro wins 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature

Emer Handly

Credit: The Paris Review

Kazuo Ishiguro is a British novelist and screen-writer who originates from Japan. On October 5th, he was announced as the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. Kazuo is a superb writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world,” the Nobel Prize Committee said.

He is most famously known for his novels ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’. Both were adapted into highly praised films.

“He’s created an aesthetic universe of his own. All his books are wonderful. They are really truly exquisite,” said Professor Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, who made the announcement of the esteemed literature award.

When he heard the news, at first he did not believe it: “I thought it was a hoax.”

Kazuo is admired for his realistic writing even though it is fiction. His stories bring history into the world of fiction and shine a light on how nations try to bury the uncomfortable memories from the past.

“I hope that these kinds of themes will be in some small way helpful to the climate we have at the moment because I think we’ve entered a very uncertain time at the moment.” said Kazuo.

The Nobel laureate was born in Nagasaki is 1959. His mother survived the atomic bomb there in 1945 and this is one of his inspirations to write about history. He studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

If you have never read any of his works, you should. He is a phenomenal writer and beautiful storyteller. ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a must read.

Kazuo is interested in understanding the past and why societies must forget some events in order to move forward. His other works include ‘A Pale View of the Hills’, ‘An Artist of the Floating World’ and ‘When We Were Orphans’.

“This is a very weird time in the world, we’ve sort of lost faith in our political system, we’ve lost faith in our leaders, we’re not quite sure of our values, and I just hope that my win of the Nobel prize contributes something that engenders good will and peace,” he said. “ It reminds us of how international the world is, and how we all should contribute things from our different corners of the world.”

Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami and Cormac McCarthy were all speculated to win the award so the choosing of Kazuo took the literary world by surprise, but it was a pleasant one.

“Between genius and gentleness he has taken his measure of the world, and is himself a measure of the best that humankind can be. How delightful that the Nobel has alighted in his garden,” said novelist Sebastian Barry.

“Kazuo Ishiguro gets into your thoughts and moves the furniture around inside your head. He writes with an inner freedom that is significant and rare,” said novelist Madeleine Thein.

Kazuo Ishiguro has some tremendous works of literature. His passion for bringing the world and its people together during times of darkness makes him more than deserving of the award.

Emer Handly