Kazuo Ishiguro

Why would somebody just read a novel when they can see it on TV or in the cinema? I really have to think of the things fiction can do that film can't and play to the strengths of the novel. With a novel, you can get right inside somebody's head.

When you're lucky enough to have a good film made of your novel - and 'Never Let Me Go' is, believe me, a heartbreakingly good film indeed - you get wonderfully talented individuals each focusing on their special area.

When I write a novel, I want it to be completely different from a screenplay. I'm very conscious of the difference, and I want novels to work purely as novels. Otherwise I don't see how they'll survive - why don't we just all go to the movies or watch television.

When I got to 40 or so... I had the sense when I looked back over my life I would actually see a mess of decisions, a few of which I had thought about, some of which I had sort of stumbled on, and many that I had no control over whatsoever.

To some extent, at least ,you have to shield children from what you know and drip-feed information to them. Sometimes that is kindly meant, and sometimes not.

There's something very misleading about the literary culture that looks at writers in their 30s and calls them 'budding' or 'promising', when in fact they're peaking.

The book was at a reasonably high position on the New York Times... before I was in the country. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if my presence here would push it up or down.

Our family arrived in England in 1960. At that time I thought the war was ancient history. But if I think of 15 years ago from now, that's 1990, and that seems like yesterday to me.

My wife is the most savage critic. She doesn't feel intimidated by my reputation. As far as she's concerned, she's just criticising a boyfriend who'd recently had a go at fiction. She can tell me to abandon whole novels.

I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.

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