The English author Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for what the prize committee in Sweden said were works that uncovered “the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”
The committee said on Twitter that Mr. Ishiguro, 62, who moved to Britain from Japan when he was 5 years old, was most associated with the themes of memory, time and self-delusion.
“If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Kazuo Ishiguro in a nutshell, but you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix,” Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said on Thursday. “Then you stir, but not too much, then you have his writings.”
Ms. Danius described Mr. Ishiguro as a writer of great integrity. “He doesn’t look to the side,” she said. “He has developed an aesthetic universe all his own.”
“The Remains of the Day,” perhaps the author’s best-known work, won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989 and was turned into an Academy-award nominated film starring Anthony Hopkins as the butler Stevens.
The novel, told from the point of view of a butler overseeing an English manor house in the years leading up to World War II, wrestled with notions of loyalty, love, dignity and legacy.
Of particular poignancy was the butler’s relationship with the manor’s housekeeper, Miss Kenton, which had the whiff of romance about it but was suppressed and stifled by the butler. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times called it “an intricate and dazzling novel.”
“Never Let Me Go,” Mr. Ishiguro’s 2005 dystopian work, centers on the lives of three children who, at first, appear to be typical friends growing up together at an English boarding school. The reality at the heart of the novel was far darker and more disturbing, the horror of their reality teased out piece by piece.
Mr. Ishiguro introduced “a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work,” with “Never Let Me Go,” the committee said in its statement. Ms. Kakutani praised the author for his artful ability to “not only assemble a chilling jigsaw puzzle, but also create a distinct fictional world.”
The novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was the basis of a 2010 film starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.
“Ishiguro’s writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place,” the prize committee wrote in a statement after the announcement. “At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic features.”
In assessing his latest novel, “The Buried Giant,” (2015), the committee praised the novel for the way it explored, “in a moving manner, how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality.”
Mr. Ishiguro studied English and Philosophy at the University of Kent in England the 1970s, and studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time author and publishing his first book, “A Pale View of Hills,” in 1982.
In a 1989 interview with The Times, Mr. Ishiguro talked about bucking stereotypes after the success of “The Remains of the Day.”
“What I don’t want to do is get repetitive or even stylistically be imprisoned by what people have said I do well,” he said. “I’d maybe like to write a messy, jagged, loud kind of book.”
Two years later, in an interview with the Japan Times, Mr. Ishiguro said that he was the only Japanese boy in his neighborhood in England.
Almost from the start, he said, “I have always been conscious of not being quite like anyone else.” But, he added: “If I’d grown up in Japan, I doubt I would ever have become a writer.”
Who else has won a Nobel this year?
■ Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for discoveries about the molecular mechanisms controlling the body’s circadian rhythm.
■ Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish received the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for the discovery of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves.
■ Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for developing a new way to construct precise three-dimensional images of biological molecules.
Who won the 2016 Literature Nobel?
Bob Dylan, the poet laureate of the of the rock era who sold millions of records with dense, enigmatic songwriting, was recognized with the award, an honor that elevated him into the company of T.S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett.
When will the other Nobels be announced?
Two more will be awarded in the days to come:
■ The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday in Norway. Read about last year’s winner, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia.
■ The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science will be announced on Monday, in Sweden. Read about last year’s winners, Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom.