When Kazuo Ishiguro first heard from his publicist that his name was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, both initially feared they were victims of a hoax. Ishiguro was hesitant to believe it was true, as he wasn’t yet officially notified by the Nobel Prize committee or anyone formally representing the organization. Then the BBC called.
During an interview with the BBC, Ishiguro stated, “I only started to believe this was true when the BBC rang me.” He continued, “I’m quite old fashioned, I believe in the BBC.”
When the BBC called, asking for his reaction to the announcement, Ishiguro asked, “Do you have any evidence that this is true?” He continued by saying, “I really heard it definitely from you just now.”
Ishiguro added, “My agents phoned saying they thought I won the Nobel Prize, but we were just going to check it up to see if this wasn’t a hoax. But obviously not.”
“In this age of false news, I thought it was perhaps a mistake,” said Ishiguro during a follow-up interview.
“Why would you expect to win the Nobel Prize?” he asked. “No, of course, I wasn’t expecting it. It’s not something I generally think about.”
Ishiguro did state that winning “is an amazing honor” and that he believes “the Nobel Prize can mean something very positive” during “a time when the world is very unstable” and “people are very uncertain about values.”
He does say that he is “hoping that I’ll keep that private space for reading and writing.” Ishiguro also added, “I hope I keep connecting to real readers out there, who love books, and who read my books in their rooms and on their commuter trains.”
Ishiguro is best known for books “The Remains of the Day,” which won the Booker Prize and was later turned into a film that starred Anthony Hopkins as the butler, and “Never Let Me Go,” though has numerous other acclaimed novels to his name and a career that spans approximately 35 years.
The Nobel Prize in Literature is generally considered the world’s highest literary honor.