Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 awarded to 'The Remains of the Day' writer Kazuo Ishiguro

By FP Staff

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 has been awarded to English author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Kazuo Ishiguro. Photo courtesy Facebook/@KazuoIshiguro

A statement released by the Nobel committee on 5 October read:

"The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the English author Kazuo Ishiguro, who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."

Ishiguro was born on 8 November 1954 (age 62) in Japan. His family moved to the United Kingdom when he was five years old.

"The themes Ishiguro's novels are most associated with are memory, time and self-delusion. His most famous novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), was turned into film with Anthony Hopkins. With the dystopian work Never Let Me Go (2005), Ishiguro introduced a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work. Ishiguro has written eight books, as well as scripts for film and television. His most recent novel, The Buried Giant (2015) explores how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality," the Nobel committee noted in its bio of the writer, while declaring Ishiguro the Literature Laureate for 2017.

"He's a very interesting writer in many ways," said Sara Danius, the academy's permanent secretary. "I would say that if you mix Jane Austen — her comedy of manners and her psychological insights — with Kafka, then I think you have Ishiguro."

In The Remains of the Day, a butler at a grand house looks back on a life in service to the aristocracy. The book's gentle rhythms and Downton Abbey-style setting gradually deepen into a darker depiction of the repressed emotional and social landscape of 20th-century England.

The 1993 film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

Like The Remains of the Day, his 2005 novel Never Let Me Go is not what it seems. What appears to be the story of three young friends at a boarding school gradually reveals itself as a dystopian tale with elements of science fiction that asks deep ethical questions.

The announcement marked a return to traditional literature following two years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Academy for the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize. Last year's literature prize went to American songwriter Bob Dylan and the previous year's to Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich.

Here's the moment Ishiguro was announced as the winner for 2017:

Watch the very moment the 2017 #NobelPrize in Literature is announced! pic.twitter.com/7IcRm5Bb2f

— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2017

— With inputs from AP