Japan-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his 1989 novel "The Remains of the Day," has won this year's Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy said Thursday.
The academy said the 62-year-old Ishiguro "in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world." He became the third Japanese-born writer to receive the prize, after Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburo Oe in 1994.
"This is amazing and totally unexpected news," Ishiguro, who has written eight books, said in a Facebook post.
"It comes at a time when the world is uncertain about its values, its leadership and its safety. I just hope that my receiving this huge honor will, even in a small way, encourage the forces for goodwill and peace at this time," he said.
Ishiguro also told a press conference at his home in London that his perspective of seeing the world has been influenced by being a Japanese. Appearing in his usual attire, a casual shirt and dark-colored jacket, Ishiguro joked that he should have dressed more neatly.
The academy said in a statement that the themes most associated with Ishiguro's works are memory, time and self-delusion, as seen in "The Remains of the Day."
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy, told reporters that Ishiguro is "a writer of great integrity," describing him as a mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka.
Ishiguro was born in the city of Nagasaki, southwestern Japan, and moved to Britain with his family when he was 5. He became a British citizen in the early 1980s and speaks little Japanese, according to people who know him.
His career as a full-time author started with his first novel "A Pale View of Hills" in 1982, about a Nagasaki woman living in Britain who reflects on her life.
Ishiguro has received various awards, including Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for "The Remains of the Day," which depicted a butler in postwar Britain who recalls his time serving his aristocratic master. The novel was made into a film in 1993 with Anthony Hopkins in the role of the duty-obsessed butler Stevens.
The academy said, "Ishiguro's writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place."
It added, "At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic features."
Many of his works have been translated into Japanese
Other notable works include the 2005 dystopian science fiction novel "Never Let Me Go," an international bestseller that was also adapted into a film in 2010. It describes a group of clones being raised for the purpose of donating their organs.
Ishiguro's latest novel, "The Buried Giant," was published in 2015, and he has also written scripts for film and television, according to the academy.
In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement hailing Ishiguro's achievement, saying he had many fans in Japan and congratulating the novelist.
Ishiguro will receive prize money of 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million).