Kazuo Ishiguro, quite rightly, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017. His acceptance speech is a beautiful thing. In it, he wrote,
“I’ve been emphasising here the small and the private, because essentially that’s what my work is about. One person writing in a quiet room, trying to connect with another person, reading in another quiet – or maybe not so quiet – room. Stories can entertain, sometimes teach or argue a point. But for me the essential thing is that they communicate feelings. That they appeal to what we share as human beings across our borders and divides. There are large glamorous industries around stories; the book industry, the movie industry, the television industry, the theatre industry. But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?”
Someone recently asked me why I write. And it’s for this reason. To be able to put the mundane feelings into words, so that someone can say, ‘I had no idea others felt this way too.’
I love being a writer. I like doing it, and I think I might even be good at it.
But it’s hard too. They say to write what you know. And all I know is myself. Which doesn’t leave me a lot of wriggle room.
So I have made myself an art gallery for you to walk through. Going through, piece by piece, spotting the inconsistencies, the inspirations. You can look at each work and delineate where it came from, learning what you want to take home with you. I’ve painted myself on these walls saying, ‘I hope this speaks to you’. And I really hope it does.