The English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, known for his spare, elliptical prose style and his inventive subversion of literary genres, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
Mr. Ishiguro, 62, is best known for his novels “The Remains of the Day,” about a butler serving an English lord in the years leading up to World War II, and “Never Let Me Go,” a melancholy dystopian love story set in a British boarding school. In his seven novels, he has obsessively returned to the same themes, including the fallibility of memory, mortality and the porous nature of time.
“If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka then you have Kazuo Ishiguro in a nutshell, but you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix,” said Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of The Swedish Academy. “Then you stir, but not too much, then you have his writings.”
Ms. Danius described Mr. Ishiguro as “a writer of great integrity.”
“He doesn’t look to the side,” she said. “He has developed an aesthetic universe all his own.”
In a statement released by his publisher, Mr. Ishiguro expressed astonishment at the award, calling it, “amazing and totally unexpected news.”
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