British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature
British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for LiteratureGetty

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy praised the novelist as someone "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

He has written eight books, which have been translated into over 40 languages. His most famous novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, which were adapted into major films.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki to a mother who survived the atomic bomb

Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki in 1954 to Japanese parents — his mother lived through the atomic bombing of the city when she was 18. The family moved to Surrey when he was five, when his father got a job at the National Institute of Oceanography.

He has said: "It was always the plan that my family would return to Nagasaki after a couple of years; that I would grow up in Japan, not England. So, I was always encouraged to think of England as an interesting place we were visiting."

He might be the inspiration for Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a devoted fan of Ishiguro's Booker prize-winning 1989 novel, The Remains of the Day. The billionaire businessman said in a 1998 interview: "Before reading it, I didn't think a perfect novel was possible."

Bezos's attachment to the book is so profound that he is thought to have decided to set up an internet bookstore soon after reading it. Even though Bezos's wife denies the story, the fact remains that Ishiguro has powerful fan club.

He worked for the Queen Mother

During his first summer after leaving the University of Kent, Ishiguro worked as a grouse beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral. He met her on several occasions, and reports that, unlike her daughter, she was not much of a shot.

Kazuo Ishiguro has got the music in him

Ishiguro admits he was not much of a reader when he was young. But he was an avid guitarist and songwriter in his youth, and only began to write fiction seriously after ­suffering a string of rejections from record labels. He remains a ­serious guitarist, and he co-wrote four songs on the jazz singer Stacey Kent's 2007 CD Breakfast on the Morning Tram, which became a bestseller in France.

He's obsessed with memory

The effect of memory is often a central theme in his stories. He once said: "I continue to find memory a fascinating device. It's a filter through which we all see ourselves — we tell stories about who we are and what we've done in the past and who we have become. And because memory is vague and hazy and open to manipulation, it's very easy to deceive oneself about one's life."