British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The novelist 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”.
His most famous novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He was made an OBE in 1995.
The 62-year-old writer said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering”.
He has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages.
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When contacted by the BBC, he admitted he hadn’t been contacted by the Nobel committee and wasn’t sure whether it was a hoax.
He said: “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 he hoped the Nobel Prize would be a force for good. “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,” he said.
“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.”
Who is Kazuo Ishiguro?
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 gap year 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”.
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, described his style as “a little bit like a mix of Jane Austen, comedy of manners and Franz Kafka”.
She said Ishiguro was a writer of “great integrity”, adding: “He doesn’t look to the side. He’s developed an aesthetic universe all of his own.”
The Nobel comes with a prize of nine million kronor (£844,000, $1.1m).