I met Kazuo Ishiguro in March 2006 when he gave a talk at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham. I don't think I am ready to read his books just yet as they seem to be a bit difficult! It was good to meet him though because one of the best films Remains of the Day was based on a novel of his.
He signed my copy of the book and also my autograph book.
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan. His family moved to England when he was six years old. After Grammar School, he went to the University of Kent in Canterbury to read English and Philosophy.
Ishiguro has been a full-time writer since 1982, when he completed his first novel A Pale View of Hills, based on the destruction, and rebuilding of his home town of Nagasaki. His second novel An Artist of the Floating World (1986) won the Whitbread 'Book of the Year' Award.
On leaving University, he worked as a residential social worker in London. Until he was 24, Ishiguro had wanted to be a rock singer/songwriter, sending out songs and demo tapes in the hope of finding a way into a professional career.
But it was not to be, and he turned to writing short stories, with some success. This encouraged him to join Malcolm Bradbury's post-graduate course in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. There he met Angela Carter who was to be one of his main influences as a writer.
The novel was made into a film in 1993 with screenplay by Booker prizewinner Ruth Jhabvala, although Ishiguro was closely involved with the production of the Merchant/Ivory
It is Ishiguro's third novel that has brought him the most fame and public recognition. The Remains of the Day (1989) tells the story of Stevens, an elderly butler recalling his life of dedication and service to Lord Darlington, a Nazi sympathiser who uses his influence to bring about the political arrangement called 'appeasement'.
Ishiguro's next novel The Unconsoled (1995), about a concert pianist struggling to meet the demands of his career, was awarded the Cheltenham prize.
Never Let Me Go (2005) is Ishiguro's sixth novel, set in the strange world of a Britain where human beings are cloned to provide donor organs for transplant. It is the closest that the author has got to writing science fiction. This book was another to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Time Magazine named it as the best novel of 2005.
Ishiguro has also written screenplays for Channel 4 TV A Profile of Arthur J Mason (1984) and The Gourmet (1986) and more recently for the films The Saddest Music in the World (2003) and The White Countess (2005).
The links below will give more detailed information about Ishiguro's novels
Kazuo Ishiguro lives in London with his wife Lorna and daughter Naomi.
film starring Anthony Hopkins (as Stevens), Emma Thompson (as Miss Kenton) and James Fox (as Lord Darlington). Emma Thompson was nominated for an Oscar as best actress, an award she had won the previous year for her role as Margaret Wilcox in Howard's End.
When We Were Orphans (2000) came next. Set in Shanghai, it is narrated by a private detective investigating his parents diappearance in the city 20 years earlier. The book was shortlisted for both the Whitbread and Booker prizes.
He was awarded the OBE in 1995
for services to literature.
The novel Remains of the Day won the Booker Prize for Ishiguro in 1989. This prize (also known as the Man Booker Prize) was established in 1969 and is awarded each October, by a committee of writers and critics, to the best novel published by citizens of the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland. The award is worth £50,000 to the winner.
Kazuo Ishiguro signed my copy
I sent this photo to Emma Thompson for
of his book Remains of the Day
Anthony Hopkins & Emma Thompson
in Remains of the Day
Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, the location for 'Darlington Hall'
in the film Remains of the Day
her to sign. It shows her with her Oscar
for Howard's End
Click on a name below to take you to that page
Interviews with Kazuo Ishiguro