The Guardian has just published a very short piece from Ishiguro, about Ishiguro. It’s a mostly uninteresting piece of advertising for the upcoming UK release of the movie version of Never Let Me Go, however I was intrigued by the revelation that Ishiguro feels jogging is unhealthy. It seems like a strange thing to remark upon in such a tiny autobiographical piece; perhaps it’s an oblique reference to Haruki Murakami’s passion for jogging? Murakami is one of the few Japanese authors that is well-known in western culture, and so, due to their Japenese names alone, I imagine that Ishiguro and Murakami are often compared. Could this remark be a subtle way for Ishiguro to distance himself from Murakami? It’s hard for me to believe that Ishiguro arbitrarily brings up jogging right after he states that he is out of touch with and somewhat intimidated by Japanese culture.
As an undergraduate at Queen’s University I had the opportunity to buy a signed hardcover first-edition of Never Let Me Go from a local independent bookseller. I had not yet read anything by Ishiguro, and so, stupidly, I did not buy a copy, despite the fact that I was shopping with a friend who was incredibly eager to buy one, and whose taste in literature I trust absolutely. It’s six years later and I still think of this every time I see a signed book.
Added: I just found this recently published book about Ishiguro. It includes a forward by Murakami titled On Having a Contemporary like Kazuo Ishiguro. Could Ishiguro be responding to this? I dearly want to read that forward now. Why can’t authors post their work on their websites for free distribution, like mathematicians? Oh.. right….