Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro


Having earned an international reputation with his booker-prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro is fast emerging as an important cultural figure of our times.

In this guide to Ishiguro's varied and often experimental work, Wai-chew Sim presents:

  • a biographical survey of Ishiguro's literary career, and an introduction to his novels, plays and short stories
  • an accessible overview of the contexts and many interpretations of his work, from publication to the present
  • discussions of key topics in Ishiguro criticism such as narrative theory, multicultural Britain and postcolonial studies, psychoanalytic criticism, and Ishiguro as international writer
  • cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism
  • suggestions for further reading.

Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of Kazuo Ishiguro and seeking not only a guide to his works but also a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds them.


This book examines the literary career of Kazuo Ishiguro, who is generally considered to be one of the finest writers working today. Part 1 provides a survey of the pertinent familial, historical and social context. It links these details to a general account of the trajectory of Ishiguro’s work and authorial reception. Part 2 provides convenient synopses of the novels as well as detailed, closely referenced accounts of their salient features and concerns. A review of Ishiguro’s short story and screenplay work is given in the final subsection, ‘Other creative works’. Part 3 offers an account of the main trends in the critical reception of Ishiguro’s writing. It identifies a number of clearly defined areas: Ishiguro’s style and narrative theory; Ishiguro, multicultural Britain and postcolonial studies; Ishiguro and psychoanalytic criticism; Ishiguro as an international writer, and other readings. The major readings in each area are reviewed with the aim of providing a state-of-the-field survey of the major directions in Ishiguro criticism. A final sub-section, ‘Film adaptation’, provides in addition a review of the reception given to the 1993 film adaptation of The Remains of the Day. This sub-section complements Part 2, ‘Other creative works’ by venturing beyond the usual novel-centred discussion of Ishiguro’s work. Throughout the volume, cross-reference is made between different sections and sub-sections so that readers can get a sense of the multiple links between texts, contexts and analysis. This Routledge Guide to Literature volume thus provides a synopsis of Ishiguro’s life and contexts, an authoritative introduction to his oeuvre, and a comprehensive account of the principal directions in Ishiguro criticism and commentary. Read through, it is a detailed introduction to Ishiguro’s work and its recurrent thematic and stylistic concerns; alternatively, cross-references between the sections make it possible to pursue a particular line of enquiry within the book, supported by an extensive bibliography.

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