Kazuo Ishig­uro

The Week (US) - - 22 Arts - Han­nah El­lis-Pe­tersen Ali­son Flood Carolyn Kel­logg

It’s the call many nov­el­ists dream of, but Kazuo Ishig­uro didn’t see it com­ing, said

and in The­Guardian .com. When his agent phoned last week telling him he’d just been awarded the No­bel Prize in lit­er­a­ture, Ishig­uro wor­ried he was be­ing pranked— un­til he no­ticed a crowd of jour­nal­ists gath­ered out­side his Lon­don home. Even then, he in­sisted he wasn’t sure he de­served the honor. “Part of me feels bad that I’ve got this be­fore other liv­ing writ­ers,” he said. “Haruki Mu­rakami, Sal­man Rushdie, Mar­garet At­wood, Cor­mac McCarthy, all of them im­me­di­ately came into my head.” He also wor­ried that he was too young to be so hon­ored. “Then I sud­denly re­al­ized that I’m 62,” he says. “So I am the av­er­age age for this, I sup­pose.”

Ishig­uro has been full of sur­prises his en­tire ca­reer, said

in the Los An­ge­les Times. He’s “that rarest of crea­tures—a lit­er­ary crafts­man who also sells books.” After writ­ing two nov­els set in Ja­pan, the coun­try he lived in un­til age 5, he gained in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion with 1989’s The Re­mains of the Day and its in­ci­sive take on the Bri­tish class sys­tem. Later, in Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant, he ven­tured boldly into sci­ence fic­tion and fan­tasy. Still, the au­thor rates as a more con­ven­tional No­bel lau­re­ate than Bob Dy­lan, whose win last year pro­voked some tut-tut­ting among purists. Ishig­uro, who wanted to be a folk singer back in the ’70s, isn’t one of them. “He’s prob­a­bly my big­gest hero,” he says. “I do a very good Bob Dy­lan im­per­son­ation, but I won’t do it for you right now.”

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