Monday 11 December 2017

Author hopes Nobel Prize will be 'force for good'

Kazuo Ishiguro speaks to the media outside his home, following the announcement he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Picture: Reuters
Kazuo Ishiguro speaks to the media outside his home, following the announcement he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Picture: Reuters

Justyna Pawlak

Kazuo Ishiguro, the British author of 'The Remains of the Day', won the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday for a run of "exquisite" novels that the Swedish Academy said mixed Franz Kafka with Jane Austen.

The writer said it was "flabbergastingly flattering". He told the BBC he first heard about it in the media - and his wife had rushed home from the hairdressers after seeing it on her phone.

"It comes at a time when the world is uncertain about its values, its leadership and its safety. I just hope my receiving this huge honour will, even in a small way, encourage the forces for good," he told reporters at his house in north London.

The award of the €940,000 prize marks a return to a more mainstream interpretation of literature a year after it went to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

The 62-year-old was born in Japan and raised in Britain. His best-known work, 'The Remains of the Day', won the 1989 Man Booker Prize and became an Oscar-nominated movie starring Anthony Hopkins as a fastidious and repressed butler in post-war Britain.

"He is an exquisite novelist. I would say if you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka you get Ishiguro in a nutshell," Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said.

The Academy hailed Ishiguro's ability to reveal "the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world ... in novels of great emotional force" that touch on memory, time and self-delusion.

"What I'm interested in is not the fact my characters have done things they later regret. I'm interested in how they come to terms with it," he told the 'New York Times' after 'The Remains of the Day' was published.

Irish Independent

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