A mystery is afoot at the Library — British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s books are vanishing from library bookshelves in record time. Our best guess is that today more than one Berkeley literary fan decided it was time to brew some tea and settle in for a reread (and rewatch?) of Remains of the Day after this tweet announced Ishiguro as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Ishiguro quipped, “I do a very good Bob Dylan impersonation!”)
Ishiguro’s family moved from Japan to the United Kingdom when he was 6 years old. He pursued Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and his dissertation grew into his first novel, A Pale View of Hills. He achieved widespread fame with Remains of the Day, which he says was written in only 4 weeks. It was later adapted into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Among many other accolades, he has been awarded the Booker Prize for Fiction, an OBE, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Writing of memory, loss, and identity, incorporating genre elements from science fiction, fantasy, and detective novels, Ishiguro fashioned a quiet style that is both part of a long lineage of domestic fiction and all his own. The Swedish Academy’s Sarah Danius described his work as a mix of “Jane Austen and Franz Kafka.” His most recent novel, The Buried Giant, a fantastical tale set in Arthurian times, was published in 2015, and he’s working on a new book already.