Kazuo Ishiguro

Author Kasuo Ishiguro's novels, with their unique, familiar, yet oftentimes otherworldly settings, were praised not only by readers, but by some of literature's most prestigious institutions. Born in Nagasaki, Japan ... Read more »
Born: 11/08/1954 in Nagasaki, JP

Filmography

Writer (3)

Never Let Me Go 2010 (Movie)

(from novel: "Never Let Me Go") (Source Material)

White Countess 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Remains of the Day 1993 (Movie)

("The Remains of the Day") (Source Material (from novel))
Producer (1)

Never Let Me Go 2010 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

Author Kasuo Ishiguro's novels, with their unique, familiar, yet oftentimes otherworldly settings, were praised not only by readers, but by some of literature's most prestigious institutions. Born in Nagasaki, Japan, Ishiguro relocated to the United Kingdom when he was five, when his oceanographer father began conducting research at the National Institute of Oceanography in Surrey. Ishiguro would attend primary and secondary school in England, and later went on to attend the University of Kent, where he received a bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy in 1978. Ishiguro had a longstanding interest in the arts, moving in social circles that participated in music, graphic art, and fringe theater. His own interest in music would find him writing and recording songs of his own, even submitting demo tapes to record labels during his youth. Eventually, however, Ishiguro would earn a master's degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. In 1982, he published his first novel, <i>A Pale View of the Hills</i>. During that same year, he became a British citizen. Though he was raised in Great Britain and would not revisit Japan until years later, Ishiguro would later note that his sense of identity was strongly colored by the Japanese culture of his family's home. Many critics praised the particular image of Japan depicted in Ishiguro's novels such as <i>An Artist of the Floating World</i>, and the author himself later observed that his own complex sense of nationhood and identity influenced the unique description of the nation that he constructed in his novels. Neither a precisely accurate portrayal of the country nor a completely fictitious one, Ishiguro's idea of Japan was, like much of his work, a product of his unique perspective as a person and as an author. In 1986, the young writer was working in Notting Hill at a West London homelessness charity when he met a social worker named Lorna MacDougall. They were soon married, and later gave birth to a daughter named Naomi. As the '80s wore on, he produced several more novels, including <i>The Remains of the Day</i>, published in 1989. The period story followed the unconsummated romance between a housekeeper and butler working at an estate in early-20th century England. The book was a smash both critically and commercially, winning the prestigious Booker Prize for literature. It was adapted into a prestigious feature film by Merchant Ivory Productions in 1993, starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. Ishiguro finally returned to Japan for the first time since his childhood immigration as part of the Japan Foundation Short-Term Visitors Program in 1989. He continued to find success as the '90s progressed, notably being made an Officer of the British Empire in 1995, not long after the publication of his fourth novel, <i>The Unconsoled</i>. He followed this work with <i>When We Were Orphans</i> in 2000 and <i>Never Let Me Go</i> in 2005, both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. 2005 also found Ishiguro penning an original screenplay for a period drama called "The White Countess" (2005), which was brought to the screen by James Ivory. For his 2015 novel <i>The Buried Giant</i>, Ishiguro explored perhaps his most complex themes yet as a storyteller, using a semi-historical, semi-fantastical setting to explore ideas about the nature of memory and perception.

Relationships

Lorna MacDougall Production Accountant

Wife

EDUCATION

University of Kent

1974 - 1978

University of East Anglia

1980

Milestones

2005

Wrote the motion picture screenplay <i>The White Countess</i>, which was directed for the screen by James Ivory.

1989

Won the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel, <i>The Remains of the Day</i>.

1982

Published his first novel, <i>A Pale View of the Hills</i>.

Bonus Trivia

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Moved to England with his family at age five so his father could conduct research at the National Institute of Oceanography.

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Did not return to Japan for 30 years after his family relocated to England.

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Formulated the story for his novel Never Let Me Go over the course of 15 years.

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Spent some time during college working as a musician and submitting demo tapes to record labels.

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Became an Officer of the British Empire in 1995 following the success of The Remains of the Day.

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