Nominated by:

Waterford City & County Library Service, Ireland

Osaka Municipal Library, Japan

Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, USA

Houston Public Library, USA

Miami-Dade Public Library System, USA

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Faber & Faber, UK

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro      

2017 Longlist

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro’s seven previous books have won him wide renown and many honours around the world. His work has been translated into over forty languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have each sold in excess of 1,000,000 copies in Faber editions alone, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films. Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He is the author of six novels. In 1995 Ishiguro received an OBE for Services to Literature, and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Librarians’ Comments

Ishiguro’s beautiful saga is fantastical in this time of King Arthur, but it is also so grounded in the deeply human story of a long-married husband and wife on a quest to reunite with their absent son. As their journey progresses, the reader understands there is an unseen current running through the tale with each page moving us closer to understanding its full, poignant implication.

On the surface, the book is a fantasy story. However, the plot contains serious literary undertones.

This novel is a story that asks whether human beings can overcome painful memory. With the background of the old legend of King Arthur of England, Kazuo Ishiguro expresses the universal life of the people throughout the ages. The ending is open to interpretation, it will differ from person to person. But his message would certainly continue down to the present day.

This spare and haunting novel feels like half dream, half fairy tale. Despite the historic setting in a divided Britain, the story offers a fresh and complex contemplation of war, revenge, loyalty and love.

In this novel an elderly married couple set out on a journey set in sixth century England where the Britons and the Saxons live in relative peace from recent war. All of the characters’ memories have been degraded by a mist that permeates the land. From the beginning of the novel the reader wonders if what is forgotten can be recovered. Romantic memory often has a blissful loss of realistic quality to it, but memories of war usually have the opposite effect. The story takes a dreamlike look at the relationships in marriage and warring cultures, then it makes the reader wonder with what set of agreements do we communicate without memory? I nominated this novel because if uses the advantages and disadvantages of memory to make us consider our struggle with personal and cultural differences.

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