Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Ishiguro poses for a portrait at The Hay Festival in Wales in May 2010.

Story highlights

  • Ishiguro says it will take a while for the honor to sink in
  • Prominent themes: memory, time and self-delusion

(CNN)The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, whose best-known novels include "The Remains of the Day" and "Never Let Me Go."

Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said Ishiguro is a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world."
Ishiguro, whose family moved to Britain from Japan when he was 5 years old, has written eight books, the most recent of which, "The Buried Giant," was published in 2015.
    His third novel, "The Remains of the Day," published in 1989, won Ishiguro a Booker prize and world renown. In 1993, it was turned into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Anthony Hopkins as the duty-obsessed butler, Stevens.
    "Never Let Me Go" is a dystopian work which introduces an undercurrent of science fiction into his oeuvre with an exploration of issues around human clones.
    "I don't think it will sink in for a long time," Ishiguro said of the honor in a phone interview with the Swedish Academy that was uploaded to YouTube. "I mean, it's a ridiculously prestigious honor, in as far as these kinds of things go."
    The author said: "One of the things that interested me always is how we live in small worlds and big worlds at the same time. That we have a personal arena in which we have to try and find fulfillment and love. But that inevitably intersects with a larger world, where politics or even dystopian universes can prevail."
    The 62-year-old's "writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place," said the academy's news release.
    "If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Kazuo Ishigur