When I’m determined to “collect” an author, I usually do…as evidenced by my McEwan posting spree. This is Kazuo Ishiguro’s second novel, and it actually bears some interesting thematic similarities to his first novel.
Here, the narrator is an elderly man trying to negotiate a marriage for his second daughter, Norike. Set in Japan, he is an artist whose works have made him an uneasy object of admiration and wariness. We sense that some of his artistic bridges have been burned with his mentee, though we won’t find out why till later in the novel.
Ishiguro, while still weaving back-and-forth in time, explores the problems of regret at the end of one’s life. Our narrator, in trying to cultivate a relationship with his rambunctious grandson, has time to reflect on what he’s done, and how his actions, in affecting others, have come back to haunt him ever so slightly.
Ishiguro is a fantastic writer, and in writing again about Japan, he demonstrates the uneasy relationship that he has with his “roots” (though he moved to England as a young child–so perhaps those roots are artificially derived?). It’s a quick read, and an interesting idea to ponder.