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Nobel Prize Winner For Literature Went To School In Guildford

Published on: 7 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 10 Oct, 2017

News of the 2017 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, has been widely reported by the national media this week. But what appears not to have been noted is that he lived in Guildford and went to Stoughton Primary School.

Kazuo Ishiguro.

Kazuo, 62, was born in Nagasaki in Japan. His father came to the UK in the early 1960s to take up a research position at the National Institute of Oceanography. Mr Ishiguro lodged at a house in Grange Close, off Grange Road, Stoughton, later taking over the home and to which his wife and children came from Japan to all be together.

Kazuo went on to Woking County Grammar School for Boys and graduated with a BA honours degree in English and philosophy from the University of Kent in 1978, and a masters degree from the University of East Anglia in 1980.

He has had a most successful career as a novelist, screenwriter and short story writer. He has previously received four Man Booker Prize nominations and won the 1989 award for his novel The Remains of the Day.

Speaking after the announcement of his Nobel Prize, Kazuo said: “I’ve always said throughout my career that although I’ve grown up in this country and I’m educated in this country, that a large part of my way of looking at the world, my artistic approach, is Japanese, because I was brought up by Japanese parents, speaking in Japanese” and “I have always looked at the world through my parents’ eyes.”

Neighbours of the Ishiguro family when they lived in Grange Close were Alan and Joan Mead. They moved there in 1970 and recall the family well.

Joan said: “Kazou would have been aged about 15 or 16 when we moved there. We lived opposite them and got to know the family well. Kazoo was very Westernised, while his mum did not speak English so well.”

She added that after Kazou had become a writer Mrs Ishiguro often spoke about him and was always very humble regarding his success, particularly so when he was awarded the Man Booker Prize.

Joan added: “At one time the family took a trip back to Japan and Mrs Ishiguro brought me back a beautiful Japanese dish as a present.”

Alan and Joan lived in Grange Close for 32 years and have followed Kazuo during in his writing career and are proud that they have all his books!

The Guardian’s story on Kazuo winning the Nobel Prize for Literature stated: “Despite being among those tipped for the prize, whose previous winners include Seamus Heaney, Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing and Pablo Neruda, Ishiguro told the Guardian he had been completely unprepared for the announcement and had even doubted at first if it was true. “You’d think someone would tell me first but none of us had heard anything,” said Ishiguro, who had been sitting at his kitchen table at home in Golders Green in London about to have brunch, when he got the call from his agent.

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