Biography of Kazuo Ishiguro

Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is a British-Japanese novelist.

Born in Nagasaki, Japan, Ishiguro moved to England in 1960 when his father took a position at the National Institute of Oceanography. At the age of six, Ishiguro enrolled in the grammar school for boys in Surrey. He obtained a B.A. from the University of Kent and a master's in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

Ishiguro came under the mentorship of famed writer Angela Carter and, in 1981, published a collection of short stories, followed in 1982 by his first novel, A Pale View of Hills, about a Japanese widow in England who reflects on the destruction of Nagasaki in WWII. Ishiguro's second novel, An Artist of the Floating World, also explored Japanese reactions to World War II through a first-person narrator. The Remains of the Day, his third novel, was published in 1989 and won the Booker Prize, and was also adapted into an acclaimed film as well as a radio broadcast on the BBC.

What Ishiguro's novels share in common are first-person narrators who exhibit frailties or flaws that are revealed in their reminiscing or account of events. His novels are at once character studies and moral inventories that serve to illuminate the context of given political events. In the course of a story, characters struggle with their own feelings in reaction to interpersonal situations but also a broader political environment. Critics have highlighted how his novels convey the Japanese concept of mono no aware, roughly translated as a gentle sadness for the impermanence of things.

In 2017, Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The following year, he was appointed Knight Bachelor for services to literature.

Study Guides on Works by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant is a fantasy novel written by Kazuo Ishiguro and was published by Faber&Faber publishing company in 2015. This is the seventh of Ishiguro’s works and has also been distributed in the USA via Random House publishers.

The novel...

Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro's "A Family Supper" is a short story, first published in 1982, about a young man reuniting with his estranged family only to learn that his mother has died from eating poisonous fugu fish.

Likely set in...

Remains of the Day, published in 1989 is the third novel by Kazuo Ishiguro after A Pale View of Hills and An Artist of the Floating World. Remains of the Day has since become a modern classic after it won not only the Man Booker Prize in 1989, but...