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Kazuo Ishiguro's Quotes

Kazuo Ishiguro profile photo

Born: 1954-11-08
Profession: Author
Nation: Japanese
Biography of Kazuo Ishiguro

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I work very regular hours, roughly 9 to 5:30. I think I have it much easier than a lot of parents. I just sit at home, I have a very flexible timetable, and I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.

Tags: Family, Time, Work

I'm always trying to make something that is impossible to film. Why would somebody just read a novel when they can see it on TV or in the cinema? I really have to think of the things fiction can do that film can't and play to the strengths of the novel. With a novel, you can get right inside somebody's head.

Tags: Impossible, Trying, Why

I'm interested in memory because it's a filter through which we see our lives, and because it's foggy and obscure, the opportunities for self-deception are there. In the end, as a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.

Tags: End, Rather, Tell

I'm not at all interested in the brave who fight against the odds and win. I am interested in those who accept their lot, as that is what many people in the world are doing. They do their best in ghastly conditions.

Tags: Best, Fight, Win

I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.

Tags: Family, Money, Time

Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory. I like the atmospheres that result if episodes are narrated through the haze of memory.

Tags: Memory, Result, Writing

My friends and I took songwriting very, very seriously. My hero was and still is Bob Dylan, but also people like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell and that whole generation.

Tags: Friends, Hero, Whole

My wife is the most savage critic. She doesn't feel intimidated by my reputation. As far as she's concerned, she's just criticising a boyfriend who'd recently had a go at fiction. She can tell me to abandon whole novels.

Tags: Tell, Whole, Wife

Our family arrived in England in 1960. At that time I thought the war was ancient history. But if I think of 15 years ago from now, that's 1990, and that seems like yesterday to me.

Tags: Family, History, Time

People aren't quite sure what it means when a book is a Booker Prize winner. They're not quite sure what is being recommended, what literary values it stands for, because every year it stands for something different.

Tags: Book, Means, Winner

Screenplays I didn't really care about, journalism, travel books, getting my writer friends to write about their dreams or something. I just determined to write the books I had to write.

Tags: Care, Dreams, Travel

The book was at a reasonably high position on the New York Times... before I was in the country. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if my presence here would push it up or down.

Tags: Book, Country, Thought

There's a practical problem about time and energy, and a more subtle problem of what it does to a writer's head, to continually analyze why they write, where it all comes from, where it's going to.

Tags: Problem, Time, Why

There's something peculiar about writing fiction. It requires an interesting balance between seeing the world as a child and having the wisdom of a middle-aged person. The further you get from childhood and the experience of the teenage years, the greater the danger of losing that wellspring.

Tags: Experience, Wisdom, Writing

What is difficult is the promotion, balancing the public side of a writer's life with the writing. I think that's something a lot of writers are having to face. Writers have become much more public now.

Tags: Become, Life, Writing

When I got to 40 or so... I had the sense when I looked back over my life I would actually see a mess of decisions, a few of which I had thought about, some of which I had sort of stumbled on, and many that I had no control over whatsoever.

Tags: Control, Life, Thought

When I write a novel, I want it to be completely different from a screenplay. I'm very conscious of the difference, and I want novels to work purely as novels. Otherwise I don't see how they'll survive - why don't we just all go to the movies or watch television.

Tags: Movies, Why, Work

When you become a parent, or a teacher, you turn into a manager of this whole system. You become the person controlling the bubble of innocence around a child, regulating it.

Tags: Become, Teacher, Whole

All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.

Tags: Children, Deceived, Grow

There are things I am more interested in than the clone thing. How are they trying to find their place in the world and make sense of their lives? To what extent can they transcend their fate? As time starts to run out, what are the things that really matter?

Tags: Place, Time, Trying

As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.

Tags: Rather, Tell, Themselves

I like novelists who can create other interesting worlds.

Tags: Create, Novelists, Worlds

I started as a songwriter and wanted to be like Leonard Cohen. I've always seen my stories as enlarged songs.

Tags: Seen, Started, Wanted

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Much more quotes by Kazuo Ishiguro below the page.

I've always had a great fondness for English detective fiction such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.

Tags: English, Fiction, Great

If you look at my last songs and first short stories, there is a real connection between them.

Tags: Between, Real, Short

Many of our deepest motives come, not from an adult logic of how things work in the world, but out of something that is frozen from childhood.

Tags: Childhood, Logic, Work

Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory.

Tags: Memory, Quite, Writing

Now when I look back to the Guildford of that time, it seems far more exotic to me than Nagasaki.

Tags: Far, Seems, Time

People were incredibly kind to our family and went out of their way to help.

Tags: Family, Help, Incredibly

The world is crawling with authors touring now. They're like performance artists.

Tags: Artists, Authors, Touring

There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.

Tags: Another, Life, Might

When I see films made from books, I make a huge effort not to remember the book. It's important to see the film as a film.

Tags: Book, Effort, Remember

When I was younger, I didn't read that much. I was more interested in film and music. Now I'm curious. I want to know what it's all about.

Tags: Film, Music, Read

I couldn't speak Japanese very well, passport regulations were changing, I felt British, and my future was in Britain. And it would also make me eligible for literary awards. But I still think I'm regarded as one of their own in Japan.

Tags: Felt, Future, Speak

I do feel part of that generation of people who were rather idealistic in the '70s and became disillusioned in the '80s. Not just about social services issues, but the world.

Tags: Generation, Rather, Social

I felt slightly superior to student politics, for instance. I had no reason to think this, but I thought of myself as slightly more seasoned. I became quite cynical talking to my student friends.

Tags: Friends, Politics, Thought

I had been plunged into a different world. I found myself spending half my time answering weird questions on book tours in the Midwest. People would stand up and explain to me the situation in their office and ask me whether they should resign or not.

Tags: Book, Stand, Time

I had the sense when I looked back over my life I would actually see a mess of decisions, a few of which I had thought about, some of which I had sort of stumbled on and many that I had no control over whatsoever.

Tags: Control, Life, Thought

I like the fact that by mimicking the way memory works, a writer can actually write in a fluid way - one solid scene doesn't have to fall on another solid scene, you can just have a fragment that then dovetails into another one that took place 30 years apart from it.

Tags: Another, Fact, Place

I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.

Tags: Actually, Stuff, Writing

I try to always go for something... very interior, following thoughts and memories, something that I think is difficult to do on the screen, which is essentially a third-person medium.

Tags: Difficult, Thoughts, Try

I want my words to survive translation. I know when I write a book now I will have to go and spend three days being intensely interrogated by journalists in Denmark or wherever. That fact, I believe, informs the way I write - with those Danish journalists leaning over my shoulder.

Tags: Book, Fact, Words

I was a little concerned that a lot of people thought I wrote Merchant Ivory movies. I also thought if I was ever going to write something strange and difficult, that was the time.

Tags: Movies, Thought, Time