The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 has been awarded to English author Kazuo Ishiguro who, according to the Swedish Academy, “in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.
His style was described by Academy secretary Sara Danius as a mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka with “a little bit of Marcel Proust [thrown] into the mix.”
Born in Nagasaki, Japan, Ishiguro and his family moved to the UK when he was five years old. He graduated from the University of Kent in 1978 and completed his Master’s in creative writing at the University of East Anglia’s in 1980.
“The themes 2017 Literature Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro is most associated with are: memory, time, and self-delusion,” the Academy said.
“Ishiguro’s latest novel, The Buried Giant (2015) explores how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality.
“With the dystopian work Never Let Me Go (2005), Ishiguro introduced a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work.”
The White Countess was also adapted for the big screen – in 2005 by director James Ivory, along with Never Let Me Go by Mark Romanek in 2010, the film starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.
Ishiguro told the BBC his win was a “magnificent honour, mainly because it means that I’m in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived.