English author and novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro, has been named winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature.
While the result dashed the hope of many Africans who had expected Ngugi Wa Thiongo would get it, the BBC reports that the author of the novels titled The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.
With writers, such as Margaret Atwood, Ngugi and Haruki Murakami leading the odds at the bookmakers, Ishiguro was a surprise choice.
But his blue-chip literary credentials return the award to more familiar territory after last year’s controversial selection of the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.
The 62-year-old writer said the award was “flabbergasting flattering”.He has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages.
He told the BBC that he hadn’t been contacted by the Nobel committee and wasn’t sure whether it was a hoax.
“It’s a magnificent honour, mainly because it means that I’m in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that’s a terrific commendation,” he said
Ishiguro said he hoped the Nobel Prize would be a force for good.
He said,”The world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment.”
“I’ll be deeply moved if I could in some way be part of some sort of climate this year in contributing to some sort of positive atmosphere at a very uncertain time.”
Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, he moved to England with his family when his father was offered a post as an oceanographer in Surrey
He read English and philosophy at the University of Kent after a year’s gap that included working as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral.
He studied an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where his tutors were Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. His thesis became his critically acclaimed first novel, A Pale View of Hills, published in 1982. He won the Booker Prize in 1989 for The Remains of the Day.
His work, which includes scripts for film and television, looks at themes of memory, time and self-delusion.The Nobel committee praised his latest book The Buried Giant, which was released in 2015, for exploring “how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality”.