“What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took?”
– Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
The British author Kazuo Ishiguro has won the Nobel prize in Literature for 2017. His notable works consist of: The Remains Of The Day (1989), Never Let Me Go (2005), The Buried Giant (2015), Nocturnes (2009) and many more.
A note on the odds: Ladbrokes favourites to win the prize according to New Republic was Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (4/1 odds), Margaret Atwood (6/1 odds), Javier Marias (10/1 odds) and Yan Lianke (14/1 odds).
A few of Kazuo Ishiguro’s works have also been made into films. For example, his dystopian/science fiction novel Never Let Me Go was made into a film in 2010 starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley. His novel The Remains Of The Day, was once considered by The New York Times in a review from 1989 to be “a profound and heart-rendering study of personality, class and culture” was also adapted as a film in 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
Ishiguro is no stranger to winning awards for his work. He has also won the Booker Prize (for The Remains of the Day), The Order of the British Empire and the Odre des Arts et des Lettres alongside an abundance of others.
It is interesting to note Ishiguro has not only written novels, short stories and screenplays, he has also written songs for Stacey Kent, the American jazz singer. After all, the Nobel prize in Literature commends artists with a varied body of work produced.
Sara Danius, scholar and permanent secretary at the Swedish Academy, spoke in an interview after she announced Ishiguro’s win. Danius said that Ishiguro “has developed an aesthetic universe all on his own…He is someone who is very interested in understanding the past… but he’s not out to…redeem the past… he’s exploring what you have to forget to survive in the first place, as an individual or in society” Darnius added that her “favourite is The Buried Giant.”
The BBC reported that when the writer responded to winning the award, the writer said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering.” When contacted by the BBC Ishiguro said that “the world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel Prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment…I’ll be deeply moved if I could in some way be part of some sort of climate this year in contributing to some sort of positive atmosphere at a very uncertain time.”