Dr. Wai-Chew Sim received his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick and is now Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he teaches courses in literature and literary criticism.
2006 0-7734-5691-0 This book examines, in thematic and stylistic terms, the six novels that Kazuo Ishiguro has published so far. It is the first study to advance an argument linking these works to wider issues in the interpretation of migrant and cosmopolitan literature. Individual chapters examine Ishiguro’s appropriation of exotic fiction, the countryhouse novel, the high-modernist European novel, detective fiction, and science fiction. From early works that tackle the exigencies of immigrant self-fashioning through the critique of essentialist depictions of Japanese sociality, Ishiguro went on to criticize English exceptionalism in the Booker prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day. His misrecognition as a supplier of English and Japanese authenticity is adduced as evidence for the fabulist turn of his subsequent work, suggesting that his writing is typified by a propensity to rework the substance of earlier novels in response to their critical and popular reception. Ishiguro breaks new ground in his last two books by raising the issues of distributive justice, progressive nostalgia, and the role of utopian imaginative discourse. This trajectory suggests a need to re-examine dominant theoretical tendencies, in particular those that draw colorful portraits of the delights afforded by cultural flows and exchanges within a decentered and borderless post-imperial global order.