Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro
Author Kazuo Ishiguro speaks to the media outside his home, following the announcement that he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, in London, Britain October 5, 2017. Source: Reuters/Toby Melville

British author Kazuo Ishiguro has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, joining a prestigious cohort including John Steinbeck, Jean-Paul Sartre, Winston Churchill and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The Swedish Academy awarded the prize on Thursday to Nagasaki-born Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world,” it said in a press release.

Ishiguro told the BBC in an interview that “in this age of false news I thought it was perhaps a mistake.”

“I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since Bob Dylan … he’s one of my great heroes,” he said, referring to the controversial awarding of the Nobel Prize to the folk singer in 2016.

Ishiguro did his Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy at the University of Kent in 1978 and gained a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia two years later.

The author’s 2005 science fiction novel Never Let Me Go was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, was named by Time magazine as the best book of that year and was adapted into a film in 2010. His 1989 novel The Remains of the Day won the Man Booker Prize and was also adapted into a film.

The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded annually since 1901 to an author who has produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction,” according to its founder Alfred Nobel.

“It is an amazing honour,” said Ishiguro. “I do think the Nobel Prize can mean something very positive.”

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