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Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954–, English novelist, b. Nagasaki. His family left Japan in 1960 and immigrated to England, where he attended the universities of Kent (B.A., 1978) and East Anglia (M.A., 1980). Ishiguro, who began his literary career writing short stories, creates subtle, finely crafted fiction that combines precise evocations of time and place with psychologically acute character studies. With an identity neither completely English nor fully Japanese, he has characterized himself as an international novelist. His first two novels, A Pale View of Hills (1982) and An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Prize), have Japanese narrators and settings. His best-known novel, The Remains of the Day (1989, Booker Prize; film 1993), has a quintessentially English protagonist and setting: an emotionally repressed, self-deceiving, and politically naive butler serving in an aristocratic country household between the two World Wars. His later novels are The Unconsoled (1995), When We Were Orphans (2000), and Never Let Me Go (2005); his later short stories include Nocturnes (2009). He also has written television dramas.

See studies by B. W. Shaffer (1998) and M. Petry (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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