The 8th of November marks the birthday of the highly esteemed Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, author of the award winning novels Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant (his latest novel published in March 2015) which has quickly become a New York Times bestseller. Born in Japan, Ishiguro moved to Surrey in England at the age of five and has been writing fulltime since 1982 with many awards and nominations being given to his brilliant novels.
Ishiguro's style and narrative form is clearly distinctive. His novels focus on process and journey rather than conclusion. His characters have unique perspectives and exhibit realistic flaws that readers might fear to recognise in themselves. Present in several of his novels is the theme of time and the influence of the past. Many of his characters find themselves being haunted or shadowed by loss, regret and elusive questions born from an uncertain past. In relation to this, in his novels Ishiguro stresses perception as opposed to realism. The events of his novels exist purely through the eyes of the narrator, making it uncertain whether or not the information given is reliable or if our sympathies are being manipulated. His narratives are oblique and dubious; a fascinating insight into isolation within our own consciousness and the way in which reality is distorted by our past and our mental state. His novels are truly heart wrenching, sincere and unforgettable. Ishiguro's writing stays with you long after you've finished reading.
Words by Alicia Hempsted