Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel prize in literature 2017


The British author Kazuo Ishiguro said he was both honoured and “taken completely by surprise” after he was named this year’s winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature, even initially wondering if the announcement was a case of “fake news”.Ishiguro, author of novels including The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, was praised by the Swedish Academy for novels which “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world” and were driven by a “great emotional force”.
Despite being among those tipped for the prize, whose previous winners include Seamus Heaney, Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing and Pablo Neruda, Ishiguro told the Guardian he had been completely unprepared for the announcement and had even doubted at first if it was true.
“You’d think someone would tell me first but none of us had heard anything,” said Ishiguro, who had been sitting at his kitchen table at home in Golders Green in London about to have brunch, when he got the call from his agent.

“It was completely not something I expected, otherwise I would have washed my hair this morning,” he said with a laugh. “It was absolute chaos. My agent phoned to say it sounded like they had just announced me as the Nobel winner, but there’s so much fake news about these days it’s hard to know who or what to believe so I didn’t really believe it until journalists started calling and lining up outside my door.”

Ishiguro, who was born in Nagasaki in Japan but moved to the UK when he was five, said he was “tremendously proud” to receive the award and emphasised how much he hoped it would be a force for good at a time of global instability.

“This is a very weird time in the world, we’ve sort of lost faith in our political system, we’ve lost faith in our leaders, we’re not quite sure of our values, and I just hope that my winning the Nobel prize contributes something that engenders good will and peace,” he said. “ It reminds us of how international the world is, and we all have to contribute things from our different corners of the world.”

With names including Margaret Atwood, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Haruki Murakami leading the odds at the bookmakers, Ishiguro was a surprise choice and he admitted one of his first thoughts had jumped to fellow living authors he felt were equally deserving of a Nobel.

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