British author wins 2017 Nobel prize in literature


The Nobel prize for literature was awarded to the British writer of Japanese descent Kazuo Ishiguro.

Born in Japan's Nagasaki back in 1954, Ishiguro's parents shifted to England in 1960 when he was just five years old.

Ishiguro, made an OBE in 1992, worked as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral during a gap year and studied an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where his tutors were Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

Mark Romanek's 2010 film Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, was based on Ishiguro's 2005 dystopian alternative-history novel of the same name.

Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said of the writer: "If you mix Jane Austen - her comedy of manners and her psychological insights - with Kafka, then I think you have Ishiguro".

Last year's award-winner, the United States singer-songwriter Bob Dylan had rather soured the celebrations by refusing to acknowledge the win and then failing to attend the prize ceremony; he sent Patti Smith instead.

"I've always liked the texture of memory", Ishiguro told around the time "Never Let Me Go" came out.

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"We seem to be in danger of losing an internationalist vision in the world and I think things like the Nobel Prize... is something that helps to bring people together on an global level".

"Ishiguro's writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place", the prize committee wrote in a statement on Twitter after the announcement.

At least 240 proposals were recieved and approved by the Academy for this year and 195 candidates were nominated. In honoring him, the Nobel Committee has helped legitimize speculative fiction-an umbrella term for all fiction containing supernatural, science-fiction, dreamlike, horror, fantasy, or simply impossible elements-within a global literary community that has often ignored such works in favor of weighty realistic novels. In his most recent novel, 2015's The Buried Giant, an elderly couple embark on a journey in the hope of reuniting with their estranged adult son.

The choice of a writer who has won awards including the Man Booker prize should pour oil on at least some of the troubled waters ruffled by Dylan's win, though Will Self reacted to Ishiguro's win in characteristically lugubrious fashion.

Ishiguro takes his place beside Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Doris Lessing and Ernest Hemingway as victor of the world's most prestigious literary award.

"His Nobel Prize is a recognition of how valuable a thing that is to do with philosophy, and how well he has done it".