Kazuo Ishiguro – The Waterstones Interview

On 29th June we’ll be looking at Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun. In this interview from last year, he discusses how Klara started life as an idea for a childrens picture book. He also talks about his interest in artificial intelligence and gene editing, and explains some of his thoughts about his relationship with different genres. He further shares some revealing insights into his methods, including the long process of exploration that builds the emotional world of one of his novels.

‘It might look like Klara and the Sun is a companion book to Never Let Me Go, and it is in many ways, and there is a relationship between those two books, but the genre that I was really conscious of is the one I told you about—the picture books for young children.

‘That fascinated me, not not just because it gave me an idea for a kind of a non-human narrator, which is very common in those kinds of books—you have teddy bears and soft toys and dolls and animals as your protagonist—but it’s not just at that level.

‘I find those books for children, the illustrations as much as the stories, quite poignant. You can see the wish on the part of the adults to to shelter the children who’ll be reading these books from what’s coming up, so the world is presented as this kind of much kinder place.

‘But at the same time you can see a kind of tension there because you can see that often the adults who’ve created that book don’t want to lie to the children and they feel a kind of need to drop little hints, particularly about sadness and death or, you know, something dark that might be awaiting them.’

Watch the full interview:

We’ll be discussing Klara and the Sun with our guests Dr Dominic Dean from the University of Sussex and Dr Richard Rankin Russell from Baylor University, Texas. The event is free and open to all via Zoom.

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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