".... by the time I was writing this novel, the lines between what was fantasy and what was real had blurred for me..."
It had been ten years since I last spoke with Kazuo Ishiguro, about his novel 'Never Let Me Go.' I was happily surprised to see that his new novel, 'The Buried Giant,' was also using elements of the fantastic. In this case he was employing the tropes of fantasy — more Greek myth than Celtic, in spite of the post-Arthurian setting. Moreover, the prose voice here was very different from his other work.
As we sat down to talk, it became clear to me that Ishiguro is quite enamored of this literary toolkit. But this was not an easy book for him to write, as the gap of time between books — ten years — makes clear. He told me that he work on the book for more than three years, then showed it to his first-line critic, his wife. She told him to throw it all away and start over.
He did, and the resulting work is a powerful, intelligent novel that never needs to resort to simple allegory. He and I discussed the toolkit of the fantastic, and his willingness to employ it for his storytelling needs. We also discussed th4 layer of storytelling present on the page and hinted at in the novel. Readers can rest assured that once they hear him talk about 'The Buried Giant,' a re-reading will be in order, simply because there will be a lot to enjoy.
04-21-15 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 202: Kazuo Ishiguro, 'The Buried Giant'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the two hundred and second episode of my series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. these days I actually sort of perform them with the writers as a "lightning round" (thanks David Rich!) after the longer interview.
This edition of Time to Read includes two bits in one. It's entirely unedited, in keeping with the live format of the book. And it's 12 minutes long.
My hope is that (generally) in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
The two hundred and second episode is a look at Kazuo Ishiguro's book 'The Buried Giant.'
08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]
Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]