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Kazuo Ishiguro awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature


British author Kazuo Ishiguro arrives for the Evening Standard British Film Awards at County Hall in Westminster, London, on Feb 7, 2011.

Photo: AP

Kazuo Ishiguro, the British author of Remains of the Day, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced yesterday.

Japan-born Ishiguro won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for the 1989 novel that was made into an Oscar-nominated movie.

The Swedish Academy hailed his ability to reveal “the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

The award of the 9 kronor (US$1.1 million) marks a return to a more mainstream interpretation of literature after it went to US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan last year.

The works of Ishiguro, who moved to the UK as a young child, often touch on memory, time and self-delusion, the academy said.

“He is a little bit like a mix of Jane Austen, comedy of manners and Franz Kafka. If you mix this a little, not too much, you get Ishiguro in a nutshell,” Swedish Academy Permanent Secretary Sara Danius said.

Ishiguro began to gain attention in the 1980s for works such as A Pale View of the Hills and won global fame for The Remains of the Day, a story of a fastidious and repressed butler in post-World War I Britain.

The movie version starred Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

Ishiguro takes his place beside Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Doris Lessing and Ernest Hemingway as winner of the world’s most prestigious literary award.

Critics said the decision to give last year’s prize to Dylan was a snub to more deserving candidates and strayed beyond what is traditionally deemed literature.

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