Ishiguro, Kazuo

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 and themes often concerned with memory and denial. 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. All quite different in plot and tone, his later novels are The Unconsoled (1995) a kind of detective story, When We Were Orphans (2000) the dystopian sci-fi love story Never Let Me Go (2005) and The Buried Giant (2015), a dreamlike fantasy of Arthurian England his later short stories include those in 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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.