Kazuo Ishiguro

Literary Birthday – 8 November – Kazuo Ishiguro


Happy Birthday, Kazuo Ishiguro, born 8 November 1954

Kazuo Ishiguro: Nine Quotes On Writing

  1. I started as a songwriter and wanted to be like Leonard Cohen. I’ve always seen my stories as enlarged songs.
  2. As a writer, I’m more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
  3. I really have to think of the things fiction can do that film can’t and play to the strengths of the novel. With a novel you can get right inside somebody’s head.
  4. I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.
  5. Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory.
  6. What is difficult is the promotion, balancing the public side of a writer’s life with the writing. I think that’s something a lot of writers are having to face. Writers have become much more public now.
  7. I want my words to survive translation. I know when I write a book now I will have to go and spend three days being intensely interrogated by journalists in Denmark or wherever. That fact, I believe, informs the way I write-with those Danish journalists leaning over my shoulder.
  8. Screenplays I didn’t really care about, journalism, travel books, getting my writer friends to write about their dreams or something. I just determined to write the books I had to write.
  9. I don’t think it’s any fun, even if you are one of the most respected authors in the world like Margaret Atwood, to keep being nominated and not win.

Kazuo Ishiguro is a Japanese-born British novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. He is is one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world. He has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize four times, and won in 1989 for The Remains of the Day. His other books include Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant. In 2008, The Times ranked Ishiguro 32nd on their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.

by Amanda Patterson

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