Kazuo Ishiguro fans, rejoice! After a decade of waiting, the Booker Prize winner is set to release his new novel, The Buried Giant. His newest work, which he admitted was not supposed to take as long to write as it eventually did, was apparently trashed by his wife in its first draft, but is now finally ready for the eager public. Most well-known for his novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go (with our own Andrew Melville starring as the Dover Recovery Centre in the movie), Ishiguro has consistently shown a particular talent for writing melancholy and understated novels, and his new book is much anticipated.
Ishiguro seems to be leaving behind the sci-fi elements that pervaded his last novel for the mythical. The Buried Giant follows a couple living in a Britain deserted by the Romans, setting out on an journey of epic proportions in order to find their son amongst an uneasy and precarious peace between the Britons and Saxons.
As a student of Classics and English, this seems like perfect reading and Ishiguro has never disappointed me before. Although his novels often seem impenetrable and hard to engage with in their early stages, such as in the dream-like opening pages of The Unconsoled, they are ultimately rewarding and always worth the effort. Few modern writers show such a masterful grasp on the subtle emotional nuances that his characters show, and I expect his newest novel to be no different. No author has been able to make me feel as much profound sadness, and Ishiguro’s skill is even more incredible in that you do not expect to empathise with the characters when you are first introduced to them.
Ishiguro’s forte lies with his characters and their emotional depth, and the settings he crafts are often rich and varied. It is, perhaps, the familiarity the world Ishiguro creates in Never Let Me Go that ultimately makes it horrifying.
While Ishiguro’s newest book is already receiving rave reviews from the likes of Susan Hill and Margaret Atwood, fans will have to wait until March to get their hands on it. Luckily, there is something else that readers in St Andrews can look forward to. In celebration of the release of his new book, Ishiguro will be holding a talk at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh on the 5th of March as part of Edinburgh International Book Festival programme, with some tickets still on sale.
Following on from his previous seven incredibly successful books, it is safe to say that Ishiguro’s new novel will be nothing short of spectacular.