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English Writer Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Kazuo Ishiguro poses for a photo before receiving the "Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa" prize for literature, in Santa Margherita Belice, near Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy, Saturday Aug. 8, 2009.
English Writer Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature
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Kazuo Ishiguro, the Japanese-born English writer, has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Swedish Academy made the announcement Thursday in Stockholm.

Sara Danius, the academy’s secretary, praised the work of Ishiguro. She said, “He’s a very interesting writer in many ways.”

“If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Ishiguro in a nutshell.”

Danius described him as “one of the most exquisite novelists in our time.”

His best-known work is “The Remains of the Day,” which was published in 1989. It tells of a man who worked as a butler, the main male servant in the home of a rich person. He looks back on a life in service to the wealthy. The book deepens into a darker story of the repressed emotional and social environment of 20th-century England.

The work earned Ishiguro the Man Booker Prize in 1989.

The 1993 film version of “The Remains of the Day” starred Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

The choice of Ishiguro for the Nobel Prize marked a return to traditional literature following two years of unconventional choices by the Swedish Academy. Last year, the literature prize went to American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan. In 2015, it went to Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus, an investigative journalist.

Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan. He moved with his family to Britain when he was five years old.

Although he did not return to Japan until he was in his 30s, Japanese characters were important in his first two novels: “A Pale View of Hills” and “An Artist of the Floating World.”

The writer will receive $1.1 million in prize money for winning the literature award.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

exquisite - adj. finely done or made

unconventional - adj. very different from the things that are used or accepted by most people : not traditional or usual

butler - n. the main male servant in the home of a wealthy person

journalist - n. a person who has the job of collecting, writing, and editing news stories for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio