Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Kazuo Ishiguro Wins Nobel Prize

Culture's Sophie Woodley discusses the implications of renowned author Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature

For all those literature lovers who are familiar with the renowned Nobel Literature prize, you’ll be happy to hear that Kazuo Ishiguro has been awarded this year’s winner. For those of you who are not familiar with the Nobel Literature prize, you have probably heard of the Nobel Prizes as a whole. They are sectioned into 5 categories, with Literature being one of them, alongside Peace, Chemistry, Medicine and Physics.

The Nobel Literature prize was first awarded in 1901, and was administered by the Nobel foundation in Sweden. The award is given annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of Alfred Nobel,  produced “in the field of Literature, the most outstanding work in an ideal generation”. Winners receive their awards on 10th December - this being the anniversary of Nobel’s death. So, as December soon creeps upon us, Ishiguro will not have long to wait before he receives a medal, diploma and a monetary award prize.

In the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived

Those who have won the prize in previous years include Toni Morrison and Bob Dylan. Dylan was 2016’s winner for the award and faced controversial opinions regarding this. It was argued that his lyrics could not be considered poetry and therefore literature, so he should not technically be given the award. Regardless of this dispute, Dylan had created “new poetic expressions” in his songwriting, which many would argue should not go unnoticed. Ishiguro has similarly been acknowledged for his achievements as his “novels of great emotional force, [have] uncovered the abyss beneath our illusionary sense of connection with the world”.

Clearly, the Nobel Literature Prize is a tremendous achievement and is something every author in the industry is bound to look up to with great awe and admiration. Ishiguro seems elated with his award. He claims: “I’m in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that’s a terrific commendation”. It comes as no surprise that Ishiguro has been awarded such a lifetime achievement, as his novel Never Let Me Go was named as the “best novel in 2005” by the Times.

The most thought-provoking and emotionally engaging book I have read

Never Let Me Go is one of Ishiguro’s most renowned, compelling and thought-provoking novels, covering the scientifically controversial topic of human cloning. Not only was the novel a huge success, but the film rendition, released in 2010 and starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan, was also critically well received. A University of Birmingham student who has previously studied this text, told Redbrick it is “the most thought-provoking and emotionally engaging book I have read”. Ishiguro’s reputation is certainly mirrored in him being described as “one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors”.

Ishiguro’s work included:

  • A Pale View of Hills (1982)
  • An Artist of the Floating World (1986)
  • The Remains of the Day (1989)
  • The Unconsoled (1995)
  • When We Were Orphans (2000)
  • Never Let Me Go (2005)
  • The Buried Giant (2015)

second year English Lit student ~ News writer ~ (@sophie_woodley)


13th November 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

13th November 2017 at 9:52 am

Images from