2017 Nobel Peace Prize: Japanese Kazuo Ishiguro Beats Ngugi Wa Thiong’o



Beating Africa’s literary legend, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Kazuo Ishiguro has been named the winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature.

As the winner of the Nobel prize for literature Kazuo takes home an additional cash prize of 9 million Swedish krona (£832,000).

He was in the same category with top international acclaimed writers like Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Cormac McCarthy and Haruki Murakami.

Kazuo Ishiguro is a Japanese born British writer. His creative works take the forms of novels, movie/TV scripts, and short stories. In all Ishiguro has authored 8 books which have been translated into over 40 languages.

Ishiguro studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia. He published his first novel, A Pale View of the Hills, in 1982.

His book The Remains of the Day won him the Booker Prize in 1989.

As clearly stated by the Swedish Academy, the full-time writer centers his work around themes of “memory, time and self-delusion”. His novels have “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.

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Emerging the winner of the Peace Prize in Literature, according to the terrific writer, was rather a shock. At first, he considered the news of his win to be fake news.

Ishiguro says the award was humbling for him given the caliber of writers nominated for the prize. He hopes that his win alongside other prize winners will ultimately be for the good of the world.

The Nobel Prizes to notable persons in these 6 categories: Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Physiology or Medicine, Promotion of Peace and Economic Sciences.

On his latest award, Ishiguro said this:

“It’s a magnificent honor, mainly because it means that I’m in the footsteps of the greatest authors that have lived, so that’s a terrific commendation.”



“The world is in a very uncertain moment and I would hope all the Nobel Prizes would be a force for something positive in the world as it is at the moment.” 

Ishiguro says it will be delightful to venture into matters of climate change.

Kazuo Ishiguro Writing Style

The Nobel Laureate’s writing style embodies futuristic and subliminal features. This particular quality makes a good material for modern day theatrical/film arts. His somewhat surreal fictions which he says are products of his imagination have a way of appealing to the mind.

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In his works, Ishiguro portrays elements of war, while comparing social ideals to available reality.

“I tend to be attracted to pre-war and postwar settings because I’m interested in this business of values and ideals being tested, and people having to face up to the notion that their ideals weren’t quite what they thought they were before the test came.”

What Ishiguro And Ngugi Wa Thiong’o have In Common

That would be Keeping in touch with cultural origin. Both renowned writers exhibit similar traits as it pertains to language and the art of storytelling.

Both writers make their cultures visible in their works.

“I grew up with a very strong image in my head of this other country, a very important other country to which I had a strong emotional tie … In England I was all the time building up this picture in my head, an imaginary Japan.”

Being raised in a totally different cultural environment did not rob him of his Japanese heritage. According to him, his parents did a great job of acquainting him with his Japanese roots. Though they lived in the UK for longer than they thought they would, Ishiguro says English was not his first language.

“I’ve been brought up by Japanese parents in a Japanese-speaking home.”

Both writers understand the value and importance of language in literary appreciation. Ngugi is one of the prominent faces of the fight to preserve indigenous African languages.