Kazuo Ishiguro – Klara and the Sun

Cardiff BookTalk is delighted to invite you to our event on 29 June 2022, where we will be looking at Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro with our guests Dr Dominic Dean from the University of Sussex and Dr Richard Rankin Russell from Baylor University, Texas.

At the same time, what was becoming clear to me was the extent to which humans, in their wish to escape loneliness, made maneuvers that were very complex and hard to fathom…

It’s never easy being the protagonist of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel. In this, his first book since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, we meet Klara, an Artificial Friend, and Josie, a young girl with a mysterious illness who chooses her as a companion.

Klara might not be one of the coveted new B3s, but she’s curious and observant, and through her eyes, we piece together a dystopian world adjacent to our own—an uncanny vision of cones and rectangles, of lonely children, the Sun’s nourishment and the sinister Cootings Machine. Klara already knows that you can’t depend on a child’s promises, but her new family have secrets and Josie’s mother has her own reasons for wanting an Artificial Friend for her daughter.

Told in spare, elliptical prose, Klara and the Sun is an enigmatic science-fiction parable that explores gene-editing, societal collapse and the power of kindness, optimism and love.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s works include Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, which won the Booker Prize in 1989. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017 for ‘novels of great emotional force, (which have) uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world’.

Ishiguro’s stories frequently draw upon and reinvigorate the conventions of different fictional genres, most recently science fiction and high fantasy, or dissect the emotional minutiae of an enclosed world such as a boarding school or English country house. Above all, his writing is concerned with the ambiguity of memory, and with how we tell the stories that we tell ourselves and the processes by which we choose to remember or to forget.

Guiding us in our discussion of Klara and the Sun, Cardiff BookTalk will be welcoming two expert speakers:

Dr Dominic Dean (University of Sussex) specialises in twentieth and twenty-first-century British fiction, children, migration, and psychoanalysis. Dr Dean has published extensively on Ishiguro’s fiction and teaches undergraduate classes in English and the Medical Humanities.

Dr Richard Rankin Russell (Baylor University, Texas) teaches and researches Modern & Contemporary British & Irish Literature and is the author of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh University Press). His published work includes articles exploring Ishiguro’s complex relationship with the fantasy genre.

Each of our speakers will present a 10-15 minute talk, and then there is an opportunity for audience questions and discussion. To make the most of the session, you may like to read Klara and the Sun. Further recommended texts include Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels The Buried Giant, Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day.

The event is free and open to all. Book your place via Eventbrite at the link below: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cardiff-booktalk-klara-and-the-sun-registration-314430910317?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

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