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Lost Toys and Flying Machines: A Talk with Kazuo Ishiguro

A short profile of the Man Booker Prize-winning author for The New Yorker

Kazuo Ishiguro tilted back in his chair, clutched the table in front of him, and let out a big, full-body laugh. The phrase that the sixty-year-old writer seemed to have found hilarious: “great novelist.” “What the hell is a great novelist? It’s a funny kind of label,” he said. “I’m inspired by great novelists. I look up to some, others I don’t get.” He shook his head. “But writing is about me and the person I’m talking to.”

He was dressed in a black sweater and wore square spectacles. He sipped occasionally from a cup of Earl Grey. His seventh novel, “The Buried Giant,” which is his first since “Never Let Me Go,” from 2005, was just published. We were in the library of the Old Bank Hotel, in Oxford; that evening, he would be interviewed onstage as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. Ishiguro attended the University of Kent, in Canterbury, before studying under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter at the University of East Anglia. He came to England from Japan at age five, after his father got a job at the National Institute of Oceanography, in Southampton. “While I don’t regret that move, I guess there was a sense from a very early age that there was this other world that kind of faded,” he said. Read the rest of the story at The New Yorker

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