Japanese-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 by the Swedish Academy. British novelist, poet, playwright, biographer and short story writer Doris Lessing was the first Briton to win the prize in 2007, exactly 10 years before Kazuo Ishiguro. The British writer has received four Man Booker Prize nominations, but his novel The Remains of the Day is the one that managed to win the 1989 Man Booker Prize award.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954 but his family moved to the United Kingdom when he was just 5 years old. One of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors in the English-reading world, in 1978 Ishiguro obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kent. He completed his Master’s from the University of East Anglia in 1980. The Japanese-born actor has not only penned 8 books but has also written scripts for television and films.

The Swedish Academy has hailed Ishiguro for his “novels of great emotional force” in which he has “uncovered the abyss beneath the illusory sense of connection with the world”. Some of the writer’s prominent works include — The Remains Of The Day (1989), Never Let Me Go (2005), The Buried Giant (2015).

His novel The Remains Of The Day explores the meaning of loyalty, duty and love through an employee-employer relationship. The author’s 2005 novel Never Let Me Go narrates the stories of three British youngsters who leave an idyllic boarding school to discover the depths of their existence.

Of the 240 proposals received for the awards this year by the Swedish Academy, 195 were nominated. Big names like Japan’s Haruki Murakami and Canada’s Margaret Atwood gave Kazuo tough competition but the British writer managed to edge a lead.

“He’s a very interesting writer in many ways,” said Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary.

First Published | 5 October 2017 9:26 PM
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