Nobel victor Kazuo Ishiguro says prize is 'totally unexpected'

Belarusian author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich

Belarusian author and journalist Svetlana Alexievich

Ishiguro wrote the screenplay for the film.

In "The Remains of the Day", a million-seller that came out in 1989 and won the Booker Prize, a butler at a grand house looks back on a life in service to the aristocracy.

"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.

British author Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his novel The Remains of the Day, won the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, the Swedish Academy said.

"The themes Ishiguro's novels are most associated with are memory, time and self-delusion".

Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, Ishiguro reckoned with the country's history in the shifting and unreliable narrative of his second novel, An Artist Of The Floating World.

Ishiguro's Nobel Prize, a tremendous personal accolade, and a marker of success for a fruitful authorial career, is also a moment of validation for authors whose fiction strides the line between literary and speculative.

"I would say that if you mix Jane Austen - her comedy of manners and her psychological insights - with Kafka, then I think you have Ishiguro", she said. "This, fundamentally, was how The Remains Of The Day was written". His first work, "A Pale View of the Hills" (1982), came out the same year in which he himself became a British citizen.

She dismissed any suggestion that judges deliberately went for a more straightforward choice this time after opting for Dylan for last year's literature prize. As a small child, I was taken away from the people I knew, like my grandparents and my friends.

Ishiguro takes his place beside Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Doris Lessing and Ernest Hemingway as victor of the world's most prestigious literary award. "Whereas when I wrote about Japan, something unlocked". His most recent novel is 2015's "The Buried Giant", about an elderly couple's trip through an English landscape to meet a son they haven't seen in years.

Bob Dylan took the prize previous year.

The Swedish Academy stunned the world in 2016 when it awarded the Nobel Literature Prize to USA counter-culture icon and rock star Bob Dylan.

After two consecutive years of unconventional choices for the Nobel Literature Prize, observers are wondering if the Swedish Academy's adventurous streak will continue.

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