STOCKHOLM (AP) – The Latest on the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature (all times local):
Nobel literature laureate Kazuo Ishiguro first suspected he was the victim of “fake news” when he was told by his agent that he had been awarded the prize.
“I thought it was a hoax,” Ishiguro told reporters, sitting on a bench in the back yard of his home in north London.
Eventually, though, “a very nice lady called from Sweden and asked me first of all if I would accept it.”
“I was surprised how low-key they were. It was like they were inviting me to some kind of party and they were afraid I might turn it down.”
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, has described Kazuo Ishiguro’s style as “precise, very sensitive to the casual and even tender sometimes. Very held back, unassuming.”
“He’s a very interesting writer in many ways, 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.”
Asked whether the academy had deliberately made a less controversial choice after naming singer-songwriter Bob Dylan last year, she insisted such issues were not considered.
“We thought that last year was a straightforward choice: we picked one of the greatest poets in our time. And this year, we have picked one of the most exquisite novelists in our time.”
This year’s Nobel Literature prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s most well-known novel is “The Remains of the Day,” which was turned into a popular movie of the same title. 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.
The choice of British novelist Ishiguro marks a return to conventional literature after two consecutive years in which the prize went to non-traditional recipients – singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich.
Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his book “The Remains of the Day,” has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Born in Japan, Ishiguro now lives in Britain and writes in English. The Swedish Academy cited him for “novels of great emotional force, (he) has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”
The prize is worth 9 million kronor ($1.1 million).
After two consecutive years of unconventional choices for the Nobel Literature Prize, observers are wondering if the Swedish Academy’s adventurous streak will continue.
Haruki Murakami of Japan, whose works fuse the realistic and the fantastic, and Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, whose political work forced him to leave for the United States, are seen as top contenders for the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize being awarded Thursday.
In 2015, a rare Nobel Literature prize for a non-fiction writer went to Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus. Last year’s award to American Bob Dylan sparked a debate about if popular song lyrics can legitimately be considered literature.
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist and inventor whose will established the prizes, said he wanted the literature award to honor “ideal” work, without defining the term.