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Culture

British writer Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize for literature

© Matt Carr, AFP | Kazuo Ishiguro poses for a protrait during the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2010.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-10-05

British author Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his novel "The Remains of the Day", won the Nobel Prize for literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.

Ishiguro, "in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world", the Academy wrote.

Ishiguro has written eight books as well as scripts for film and television. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1989 for "The Remains of the Day".

Born in Nagasaki, he moved to Britain with his family when he was five years old, only returning to visit Japan as an adult.

Both his first novel "A Pale View of Hills" from 1982 and the subsequent one, "An Artist of the Floating World" from 1986, take place in Nagasaki a few years after World War II.

"The themes Ishiguro is most associated with are already present here: memory, time, and self-delusion," the Academy said.

"This is particularly notable in his most renowned novel, 'The Remains of the Day'," which was turned into a film with Anthony Hopkins acting as the duty-obsessed butler Stevens.

With the critically-acclaimed dystopian work "Never Let Me Go", published in 2005, Ishiguro introduced "a cold undercurrent" of science fiction into his work, the jury said.

Inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Marcel Proust, Ishiguro's characters often painfully come to terms with who they are without closure.

His latest novel, "The Buried Giant" from 2015 explores "in a moving manner, how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality."

In the book, an elderly couple go on a road trip through an archaic English landscape, hoping to reunite with their adult son, whom they have not seen for years.

Ishiguro was not among those tipped as a favourite for this year's Nobel. His award marks a return to a more mainstream interpretation of literature after the 2016 prize went to American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2017-10-05

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