Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize for Literature

The Japanese-born British author was acknowledged for being a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."
Kazuo Ishiguro attends a special screening of Never Let Me Go in New York in 2010. (Associated Press/Evan Agostini, File)

Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Japanese-born British author was acknowledged for being a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."

The prize is worth the equivalent of about $1.2 million Cdn.

Born in Nagasaki, he moved to England with his family when he was five years old. His passion in university was rock music, and he says that it's only because he didn't make it as a singer and guitarist that he turned his hand to writing. He met with success right from his very first novel, A Pale View of Hills, published when he was just 27. 

Ishiguro went on to write seven more books, most notably The Remains of the Day in 1989, which won the Man Booker Prize. His 2005 novel Never Let Me Go was named by Time as one of the 100 greatest English-language novels since the inception of the magazine. His most recent novel is 2015's The Buried Giant.

Ishiguro has also written screenplays and short fiction. He was named to the Order of the British Empire in 1995.

"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."

Ishiguro spoke to Eleanor Wachtel on Writers & Company in 2015 about The Buried Giant.

The other 2017 Nobel Prize winners include gravitational wave scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for physicsJeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for physiology or medicine for their work on circadian rhythms and biochemists Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for chemistry.

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Oct. 6, 2017.

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.

Last year, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Canadian Alice Munro was recognized in 2013.

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