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Kazuo Ishiguro:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954-
Title: Kazuo Ishiguro Papers
Dates: 1955-2015
Extent: 80 document boxes (33.60 linear feet), 2 oversize boxes (osb), 1 oversize folder (osf), 4 serials boxes, and 1,284 electronic files (5.5 GB)
Abstract: The papers of British writer and Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro consist of drafts (typescripts, printouts, electronic files) of published and unpublished works, personal and professional correspondence, notebooks, photographs, clippings, and family papers which document Ishiguro's diverse writing career and range of creative output which includes novels, screenplays, short stories, and song lyrics.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-05377
Language: Predominately English, but also includes material in Japanese and printed material in various languages
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials. Some materials restricted due to condition and conservation status. To request access to electronic files, please email Reference.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Certain restrictions apply to the use of electronic files. Researchers must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Original computer disks and forensic disk images are restricted. Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted. Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Centers' Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 2015 (15-05-021-P, 15-07-033-P)
Processed by: Amy E. Armstrong, 2016-2017 Born digital materials processed, arranged, and described by Chance Adams and Brenna Edwards, 2015-2022.

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, on 8 November 1954 to Shizuo Ishiguro, an oceanographer, and Shizuko, a homemaker. The family moved to England in 1960 when Ishiguro's father was offered a temporary post at the National Institute of Oceanography. Despite expecting to be in England for a brief period, the family ended up making their permanent home in Guildford, Surrey, England. Since the Ishiguro's were expecting to return to Japan, they maintained many aspects of Japanese culture inside the home, but as a child, Ishiguro had, in his own words, a "straightforward kind of British upbringing." He learned to play the piano at age 5 and the guitar at age 15 and as a teenager, expected to make a living as a musician. Music has remained a life-long interest.
Ishiguro took a gap year before attending the University of Kent, and between April and July 1974, he and his friend, Brian Dawes, spent three months back-packing across the western states of the U.S. and Canada. After completing his first year at university, Ishiguro took another year off and went to Renfrew, near Glasgow, Scotland, to volunteer as a community worker on a housing estate. Officially, this year-long intermission was time for Ishiguro to focus on literary pursuits, but unofficially, Ishiguro used it as a final attempt at establishing a music career. After this break, he returned to the University of Kent and in 1978 received a BA in English and Philosophy.
After graduating, Ishiguro worked for a year as a social worker at the West London Cyrenians, a non-profit organization supporting the homeless and other disadvantaged people. While there, Ishiguro met another social worker, Lorna MacDougall, and the two later married in 1986. They had a daughter, Naomi, in 1992.
The emotionally demanding work at Cyrenians led Ishiguro to consider a return to school. He learned about Malcolm Bradbury's creative writing program at the University of East Anglia and began courses there in 1979, mentored by writer Angela Carter. In June 1980, Ishiguro's first published story, "A Strange and Sometimes Sadness," appeared in Bananas magazine, which along with two other stories, "Waiting for J" and "Getting Poisoned," were later published in Faber's Introduction 7: Stories by New Writers (1981).
During his first year at East Anglia, Ishiguro began writing what would become his first, well-received, and award-winning novel (Winifred Holtby Prize of the Royal Society of Literature), A Pale View of Hills (1982). In 1983, along with Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes, Rose Tremaine, and Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro was named one of Granta magazine's "20 Best Young British Novelists." That same year, Ishiguro became a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Between his first two novels, Ishiguro ventured into writing scripts and wrote two television plays, A Profile of Arthur J. Mason (1984) and The Gourmet (1985), both of which were successfully produced and aired on British television.
His second novel, An Artist of the Floating World (1986), launched Ishiguro into the literary spotlight; the novel was on the Booker shortlist and won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize.
The third novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), received international notoriety and won the Booker prize. Ruth Prawer-Jhabvala adapted the novel into the award-winning film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson and directed by James Ivory. The same year, Ishiguro returned to Japan for the first time since his family left in 1960, as part of a Japan Foundation tour.
His next three novels were either shortlisted or awarded major awards: The Unconsoled (1995) received the Cheltenham Prize in 1995, When We Were Orphans (2000) was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize for Fiction, and Never Let Me Go (2005) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, as well as the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel was also awarded several literary prizes throughout Europe and was adapted to film by Alex Garland starring Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley. His short story collection, Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (2009), was shortlisted for the 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction).
Ishiguro has received numerous honours and awards for his writing. He was appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995 for services to literature, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1998. Welsh painter Peter Edwards was commissioned to paint Ishiguro's portrait which is part of the permanent collection at the British National Portrait Gallery; the painting was also displayed briefly at Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence at 10 Downing Street.
In 2007, Ishiguro came full-circle returning to his life-long interest in music through his collaboration with American jazz vocalist, Stacey Kent, and her husband British tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson. Ishiguro's song lyrics appeared on three of Kent's albums: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (2007, Blue Note / EMI), Dreamer in Concert (2011, Parlophone France), and The Changing Lights (2013, Parlophone Music/Warner).
In 2015, Ishiguro's fifth novel, The Buried Giant, was published, and in October 2017, Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Beedham, Matthew. The Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.
Hunnewell, Susannah. "The Art of Fiction, No. 196: Kazuo Ishiguro." The Paris Review (184), Spring 2008.
"Kazuo Ishiguro." Contemporary Authors Online, (accessed 9 May 2015).
Matthews, Sean and Sebastian Groes, Eds. Contemporary Critical Perspectives: Kazuo Ishiguro. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009.
Mesher, D. "Kazuo Ishiguro." Dictionary of Literary Biography Online, (accessed 18 May 2015).
Shaffer, Brian W. and Cynthia F. Wong, Eds. Conversations with Kazuo Ishiguro. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006.

Scope and Contents

The papers of British writer Kazuo Ishiguro consist of drafts of published and unpublished works, personal and professional correspondence, notebooks, photographs, clippings, juvenilia, and family papers which document Ishiguro's diverse writing career and range of creative output, including novels, screenplays, short stories, song lyrics, and even drawings. The papers are organized into five series: I. Works, 1964-2014, undated; II. Correspondence, circa 1970s-2010s, undated; III. Personal and Professional Papers, 1955-2015; IV. Works by Others, 1989-2009, undated; and V. Periodicals and Publications, 1985-2011.
It is evident that Ishiguro was very conscious and purposeful in selecting, organizing, and preparing his papers for transfer to the Ransom Center in 2015. He carefully considered what to include (for example, regarding his correspondence, Ishiguro notes "I've excluded from this submission anything I felt had been sent to me in confidence…") and carefully arranged the materials into labeled A4-sized document storage boxes. In addition, Ishiguro annotated his papers with sticky notes; in some cases including typed notes that run to a page or more. These notes offer detailed context and background on circumstances surrounding specific events, identification of key people, and nostalgic memories of the past. Because these notes form an intrinsic part of the archive, they were retained during processing. In cases where Ishiguro used sticky notes, the notes were removed from the paper, placed into plastic Mylar sleeves, and filed in front of the item. In order to easily locate material with extensive comments, an asterisk (*) is used in the container list to identify such documents.
The arrangement of the materials closely reflects Ishiguro's own organization of the documents. Where Ishiguro provided a meaningful label for a grouping of material or a title for an unpublished work, that wording was used in the container list and is indicated in single quotes.
Series I. Works forms the bulk of the material and consists of 51 document boxes of notes, drafts, electronic files, proofs, editorial queries, adaptations, scripts, and film treatments associated with Ishiguro's writings. The works are arranged into four subseries: A. Novels, 1980-2014, undated; B. Screenplays, 1984-2005, undated; C. 'Early Work, Unpublished Work, and Miscellaneous (including 'The Experiments'),' circa 1978-2013, undated; and D. 'Juvenilia,' 1964-2014, undated (bulk 1970-1979). Works within each of these subseries are in alphabetical order by title. If an individual work has corresponding electronic files, an entry for the files is included in the container list within the material associated with that title and includes a brief description, the number of files, the file formats, and the timestamp. These dates do not necessarily reflect precisely when the file was created or last saved. Files listed as IBM PC DOS were created by Ishiguro using a Panasonic KX-W1510 word processor.
Subseries: A. Novels represents all of Ishiguro's book-length works published between 1982 and 2009 and is in alphabetical order by title. Rough papers, drafts, proofs, etc. for The Buried Giant (2015) are not included because it was published after Ishiguro's papers arrived at the Ransom Center; however a few pages of notes and fragments were mixed in with notes from Nocturnes. Within each title, the material generally follows the chronological order of literary production, from research and notes to publication proofs. When present, related material such as editorial correspondence and film, radio and theatrical adaptations by other writers follow the proofs.
It wasn't until the late 1990s, that Ishiguro began keeping the 'rough papers' of a work; his first ideas, notes, working drafts, and rejected pages that began the initial phases of a writing project. As a result, the amount of material for Ishiguro's published novels vary, with the earlier novels often only containing complete manuscript drafts and proofs. For his later works, including When We Were Orphans, Nocturnes, and Never Let Me Go, he includes pages and pages of early notes, providing a more complete picture of a novel's evolution. These 'rough papers' include outlines, notes, plot sketches, various drafts experimenting with narrative voice and structure, chapter drafts, and rejected pages. The notes were loose and most pages are unnumbered and without dates, making it difficult to discern any order or writing chronology. As a result, no attempt was made to arrange these materials within folders. The exception to this is Ishiguro's heavy use of paperclips. Pages that were clipped together were placed in white paper sleeves during processing in order to maintain the association and reflect Ishiguro's process.
Ishiguro's working method has remained remarkably consistent throughout his career. Before beginning formal drafts, he spends a great deal of time, often two or more years, plotting the "fictional landscape" before ever beginning the actual prose. When his papers were acquired by the Ransom Center, Ishiguro drafted an explanation of his process, titled 'How I Write,' and pulled examples of working draft segments from When We Were Orphans to illustrate each stage of the process. This explanation and the draft segments were placed with his writings during processing at the Center and are filed at the beginning of box 1. Copies are also available in the Ransom Center Reading and Viewing Room.
The novel Never Let Me Go (2005) contains the most material with ten document boxes of 'rough papers,' handwritten working drafts, typescript drafts, proofs, and correspondence. The 'ideas as they come' notebooks contain lengthy notes about possible plots, themes, and narrative structure. Very often these notes take the form of a conversation, where Ishiguro "talks through" his ideas in writing in order to come to a solution. An example of such a note, "Miss Emily, we do need to think more about her…" For preservation purposes, the papers were removed from the original binder notebooks and a photocopy made of the label.
The seven segments marked Clones 1, Clones 2, etc. comprise the 'first rough draft' of the novel and demonstrate a departure from Ishiguro's usual habit of drafting and redrafting large segments of pages before moving on to the next section. With this novel, Ishiguro wrote this rough draft all the way through to the end before revising. The seven notebooks were photographed and prints were made to show the original look and feel of the first draft binder notebooks, but the contents were removed for preservation purposes.
Though Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go was successfully adapted to film in 2010 by Alex Garland, there is no script or correspondence regarding the adaptation in the papers.
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (2009) is Ishiguro's only published short-story collection; however, Ishiguro conceived of it as one entire book with related themes and stories. He approached it as if writing a novel, simultaneously drafting each story one after another. Originally, the "rough papers" were unsorted and the various drafts for each story intermingled. To aid in identification, the stories were sorted and arranged by title.
Ishiguro's first novel, A Pale View of Hills (1982), does not include documentation of his early ideas; however, Ishiguro provides sticky notes that explains the changes between the 'penultimate draft' and the 'final draft.' Ishiguro clarifies that the 'final draft' contains his original ending, but after conversations with his editor, Robert McCrum, and his agent, Deborah Rogers, Ishiguro devised a new ending. So, the 'final draft' is actually the last draft of the original story before it was revised. Unfortunately, the archive doesn't contain a final typed draft with the changes incorporated; only the "penultimate draft" with the handwritten-changes.
Several writers expressed interest in adapting A Pale View of Hills and the papers include screenplays by Peter Kosminsky, Kosminsky and Ishiguro, Kiju Yoshida, and Semi Chellas, as well as a radio adaptation by Jim Friel.
While preparing his papers, Ishiguro collected together several works that he refers to as 'Run-up to The Remains of the Day.' Each of these four works played a crucial role for Ishiguro, as he experimented with the ideas and explored the themes that would eventually become the Booker-award winning novel, The Remains of the Day (1989). A Profile of Arthur J. Mason (broadcast 1984) is a teleplay commissioned by England's Channel 4 in 1982 or 1983. Ishiguro explains, "This was my first outing with a butler character, and later, as I began to work on Remains, I remember I saw in my mind for Stevens the face and manner of Bernard Hepton, the actor who portrayed Arthur Mason." The unfinished story "England in October" was written in 1983 and Ishiguro describes this as "the first clear manifestation of ideas that later became The Remains of the Day…No sign of a butler yet, but the idea of a mythical version of England and Englishness created for 'nostalgia' and the consumption of foreign Anglophiles began, in a literal way, in this story…". The story "The Patron," though abandoned, focuses on a butler whose "voice is quite close to that of Stevens. The butler-master relationship is an earlier version of Stevens/Darlington, though the master here involves himself naively in domestic politics." The notes and outline for the unrealized teleplay, Service in Japan, closely resemble Remains, which Ishiguro had already started writing, and so to focus on the novel, abandoned that project.
The first complete draft of The Remains of the Day manuscript is in the folders called 'Intermediate Draft and Scrapped Chapters.' On an attached sticky note, Ishiguro explains that he discarded boxes of the earliest drafts while working during his "lock-in" sessions; therefore, this surviving draft is considered the first draft to be found in the papers. This version includes an alternate opening chapter that Ishiguro removed and decided not to include in the published novel. The segments are arranged in the original order as found in Ishiguro's original folder.
The two folders titled "Final draft - Original Top Copy" include a manuscript draft that more closely resembles the final published novel. The heavily edited and revised draft is divided into segments; frequently with notes interfiled among the manuscript draft.
Two attempts were made to adapt the novel into a screenplay--first by Harold Pinter and then later by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala--and both scripts are in the papers. Pinter personally optioned the novel, but Columbia Pictures decided the cost was too great and the project was taken over by Merchant-Ivory Productions. Jhabvala was asked to adapt the novel and her script was successfully produced into the Academy-award winning film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson and directed by James Ivory.
Ishiguro's experimental novel, The Unconsoled (1995), includes six boxes of material. Four volumes of notes dating from approximately 1991 to 1994 outline Ishiguro's possible plot ideas and structure, political and unifying themes, characters and relationships, and what he refers to as 'The Experiments.' Looking at these writing exercises, one gets a true sense of Ishiguro's desire to try out new techniques and devices. Of interest in box 25.7 is a handwritten sheet which hung by Ishiguro's desk detailing a "menu of methods which I could take in—just in a glance—as I was writing…" Though integral to the creation of this novel's unique form, in preparing his papers, Ishiguro separated 'The Experiments' from the papers associated with The Unconsoled and filed them with his miscellaneous works [see Subseries C 'Early Work, Unpublished Work, Miscellaneous (including 'The Experiments')].
Some scholars and critics view Ishiguro's fifth novel, When We Were Orphans (2000), as an attempt to correct perceived problems with The Unconsoled. After completing his fourth novel, in notes dated 10 October 1994, Ishiguro reflects on the "lessons learned" as he is "struggling to form a foundation for a new novel." He begins, "Okay, here we are, it looks like we've finally finished the long novel. It's called THE UNCONSOLED. Now what thoughts do we have about it? ...Let's give a little time to thinking about things before going onto the next project…" (These notes were in a binder notebook called 'Notes for Novel 5,' but the papers were removed for preservation purposes. Originally, Ishiguro filed the notebook with material from The Unconsoled, but since the notes primarily deal with ideas for novel five, the papers are filed with When We Were Orphans materials).
Ishiguro's father, Shizuo, was born in Shanghai, the setting for When We Were Orphans (Ishiguro's grandfather was sent to China to establish Toyota in the early-mid 20th century). This personal family connection to Shanghai informed Ishiguro's vision of the city and his father provided assistance with research, hoping that it would assist his son. In addition to family photos showing Shizuo as a child in Shanghai, included are photocopied pages, which Shizuo annotated and translated, from a book about Shanghai housed at the Nagasaki Central Library.
Often Ishiguro's notes and drafts begin long before a novel is published, suggesting a contemplative, iterative technique focused on getting it just right. The early plans, notes, and rough papers for When We Were Orphans were started in 1994 and these original notes indicate a very different storyline; a mystery within a mystery. Ishiguro ultimately abandoned this thread and the discarded 'Coring Mystery' pages are filed with drafts of Part Three.
Mick Jagger's film production company, Jagged Films, optioned the novel and three script drafts written by Jay Cocks are included.
Subseries B. Screenplays includes drafts (printouts and electronic files) of Ishiguro's film and television projects. Not only have many of Ishiguro's novels been optioned or produced for screen, Ishiguro has written two successfully produced screenplays; The Saddest Music in the World (2003) starring Isabella Rosselini and directed by Guy Maddin and The White Countess (2005) starring Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, and Vanessa Redgrave and directed by James Ivory. For both films, the initial screenplay, along with multiple successive drafts, are included.
Subseries C. 'Early Work, Unpublished Work, Miscellaneous (including 'The Experiments')' includes manuscript drafts for Ishiguro's short works which include: early short stories, contributions to works by others, the experiments leading up to The Unconsoled, unrealized ideas for film and television projects, nonfiction essays, a review written by Ishiguro, speeches and addresses, lyrics, notes and ideas for writing projects, and unrealized and/or abandoned writing projects.
The early short stories are arranged chronologically, as that was Ishiguro's original arrangement. The radio play, Potatoes and Lovers, was submitted unsuccessfully to the BBC; however, Ishiguro included it as part of his successful application to Malcolm Bradbury's creative writing program at the University of East Anglia in 1979.
The 1991 writing experiments, which Ishiguro labeled as Experiments 1 through 5, were exercises he used to stretch himself as a writer by exploring different literary devices. For example, Experiment 1 is focused on third person / first person narrative voice. After playing with this technique and considering it, Ishiguro concludes "The narrative technique doesn't really take off to become anything special…" Ishiguro was eager to try something new for his fourth novel, The Unconsoled, and depart from what readers had come to expect from his first three, very successful novels.
The 'Experiments (neat drafts)' were originally in a black notebook binder, but removed during processing at the Ransom Center for preservation purposes. Experiments 2 through 5 were used to test the "Dream Technique" (found in folder 48.5). Ishiguro states that the documents in folders 48.4 and 48.5 "should be used in conjunction." A revised version of Experiment 3 was published in 2001 as "A Village after Dark" in the New Yorker and as a mini-book in France by Calmann-Lévy. Wishing to use an unpublished piece, Ishiguro revised Experiment 4 and read it at the 1996 Harbourfront Festival in Toronto.
Ishiguro's ability to write across genres is evidenced by his collaboration with American jazz vocalist, Stacey Kent, and her husband British tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson. Ishiguro's song lyrics have appeared on three of Kent's albums: Breakfast on the Morning Tram (2007, Blue Note / EMI), Dreamer in Concert (2011, Parlophone France), and The Changing Lights (2013, Parlophone Music/Warner). The collaborators have never been in the same room while working and the "virtual" process begins with Ishiguro drafting the lyrics and then sending them electronically to Tomlinson who puts the words to music, with frequent exchanges of music files and emails to get a song to its final arrangement.
Subseries D. 'Juvenilia' is comprised of childhood stories, song lyrics when Ishiguro was trying to establish a music career, and Ishiguro's earliest attempts at focused writing during and between undergraduate and graduate study. "Run, Melody, Run" is the earliest writing that exists in the papers and was written in a green exercise book between 1964 and 1965 while a student at Stoughton County Junior School. Included with this are annotated inkjet photo printouts from that period (the original photograph prints are filed in folder 64.4).
The 'early (unpublished) novels' are arranged in chronological order and To Remember a Summer By and Sylvie were written while Ishiguro was at the University of Kent. The Archive Note filed in folder 50.1 provides detailed context surrounding–and a critical appraisal of–these early novels, while also providing an incredibly candid and thoughtful assessment of the significance of these "lost" novels to Ishiguro over time.
The folder titled 'song lyrics' includes music and lyrics written between 1970 and 1974; including the first song Ishiguro ever wrote in summer 1970 called "Shingles." Ishiguro recalls performing many of these songs at school programs. Later, Ishiguro often used "foolscap sheets with data charts on the back" given to him by his oceanographer father, "He had reams of it and I sometimes used it to save on paper costs!"
In 1974, Ishiguro took a gap year before beginning university and spent three months back-packing across the western states of the U.S. and Canada. Three notebooks were carried by Ishiguro over the course of the 92-day trip and include daily diary entries, sketches, ideas for songs, and other jottings. The entries for notebooks one and two are written from the back to the front and in notebook three, Ishiguro explains, "I appear to have filled every other page with entries, then when I'd reached the end of the book, come back in reverse order filling up the pages that were still available." Also included in notebooks one and three are brief entries related to a trip to Glasgow, Scotland immediately upon returning to Britain from America. The two booklets, 'And Oh, in Berkeley' and 'In Downtown San Francisco,' were written a few months after returning to England. "These are my very first extended prose works in adulthood, and for all the cringe-inducing, sub-American hippie vernacular, I can see in these pieces a good instinct for structure and narrative shape (which is alarmingly absent in my first efforts to write novels just a few years later - 'To Remember a Summer By' and 'Sylvie')."
Series II. Correspondence is primarily professional and includes letters from publishers (Faber and Faber and others), agents (Deborah Rogers and others), fans, aspiring writers, universities, scholars, and other professional associates. A majority of letters are requests for appearances, interviews, signed books, charitable donations, permission for rights to adapt or publish Ishiguro's work, and invitations to book and literary festivals. The letters are filed in chronological order; however, individual letters within folders are not further arranged.
Business correspondence between the late 1980s and early 2000s was often conducted via fax machine. As a result, papers contain a large volume of faded faxed correspondence. For preservation purposes, these were photocopied during processing and in extreme cases, some faxes were digitized to enhance the contrast and printouts made.
Ishiguro collected together one document box of letters he labeled as '(slightly) more interesting correspondence.' This description was retained in order to provide additional context and insight. These are some of the earliest, more personal letters, often from close University friends or fellow authors; however, many of the same correspondents can be found throughout the correspondence series. A list of correspondents found throughout the archive is provided in this guide's Index of Correspondents; however, routine mail (e.g. regarding home repairs), form letters, requests for autographs, or basic cover letters (e.g. enclosed is a copy of your contract) aren't included in the index.
There is a small group of separately-filed outgoing correspondence from Ishiguro; however, interfiled within the correspondence between the 1980s and 2000s are handwritten and typed outgoing letters that were sent via fax.
Series III. Personal and Professional papers contain documents and items related to Ishiguro's childhood, family life, and writing career. Childhood and family papers, marketing and jacket designs for Ishiguro's publications, notebook journals, photographs, press clippings, travel and public event files, and university and school papers are found in this series. The materials are in alphabetical order by name or topic.
Though Ishiguro estimates that he made well over 100 comic books as a child, these eight are what remain in large part due to Ishiguro's mother safekeeping. The titles and plot lines indicate that Ishiguro was inspired by the programs he watched as a young boy on television: Well Done Noddy, The Flowerpot Men, Bronco, Wells Fargo, The Gun, Whirlybirds, Asanshonday (phonetic spelling of Ascension Day), and Supercar.
The Naomi Comic Strip began when Ishiguro's daughter, Naomi, was 9 years old. He drew the first panel depicting his wife, Lorna, asleep on the couch. Naomi was amused by the drawing and Ishiguro continued to add panels over the next couple of weeks. The comic book "was purely to entertain Naomi (and Lorna) and is full of private jokes and references. Fairly soon, my wife and daughter (and I) grew tired of the project, so the story remains unfinished after fourteen pages."
Ishiguro has prepared a very detailed description of each of the twenty notebooks journals located in this series. For easy identification, he assigned each an alphabetical letter (though letters E, I, O are not used due to mislabeling by Ishiguro). Ishiguro then flagged segments and assigned a number to those segments within the notebook. The index filed in folder 62.6 provides a listing of these footnotes with the corresponding annotations. Additional description of other subjects are listed in the container list. The dates are approximate, and in most cases, were provided by Ishiguro.
Black-and-white and color photographs in the collection include family photographs (print and digital images), informal snapshots, and publicity shots. The photographs related to his writing career depict Ishiguro on international British Council and publicity tours, receiving awards and honorary degrees, at book readings, and on film sets. Of particular interest in folder 64.12 are the photos of Ishiguro's first visit to Japan in 1989 after leaving there as a child more than three decades before. The photos include Ishiguro's Japanese relatives and visits to important sites from his childhood.
Ishiguro's photos of the 1994 Cannes Film Festival jury, of which he was a member, provide images of a distinguished group of actors and filmmakers, including a very relaxed Clint Eastwood. Personal photos of particular interest are Ishiguro's 'childhood' photos in Japan and just after arriving in Britain are filed in folder 64.4. The 'University Days' photos show Ishiguro with long hair and beard, often playing the guitar or with university friends.
A Polaroid snapshot taken in summer 1989 includes Ishiguro, his wife Lorna, English novelist Graham Swift and his wife Candice Rodd, and English novelist Salman Rushdie with his then-wife Marianne Wiggins. On the back of the photo, Ishiguro has written, "This photo taken in summer 1989, when Salman Rushdie and his then-wife Marianne Wiggins stayed the night at our house in Knighton Park Rd, Sydenham, during the darkest days of Rushdie's fatwa. Eight special branch officers stayed the night too, some remaining in cars in the street outside."
For additional context and identification of photos, see the inventory created by Ishiguro in folder 64.4, as well as the Travel and Public Events segment which often includes color inkjet printouts of some of the same photos and annotated by Ishiguro.
There are eight document boxes of press clippings which include book reviews, best seller lists, and profiles of Ishiguro published in British, American, Canadian, Australian, and foreign language publications. The organization follows Ishiguro's general arrangement with book reviews and publicity being organized by the title of the book or film. Profiles, interviews, and mentions are organized by country, also reflecting Ishiguro's original arrangement.
Ishiguro has often discussed in interviews his displeasure regarding the grueling pace of major press tours and the papers also hint at this. The Travel and Public events segment is arranged chronologically following Ishiguro's own organization. This arrangement allows one to get a sense of the time Ishiguro spent away from home and unable to focus on his writing.
'University days' document aspects of Ishiguro's early adulthood beginning with his coursework at the University of Kent, his attempt to establish a career in music, and his early jobs as a social worker. The private diary spans from October 1975 to May 1976 when Ishiguro had taken a year off from the University of Kent. The pages detail Ishiguro's brief stint in London as he visits various record labels in the hope of being discovered, "In many ways, then, this diary tracks my gradual acceptance that I would fail in the music world (the 'London Project' is declared a 'failure' later in the diary), and the movement of my ambitions towards literary projects."
Series IV. Works by Others is one document box of writings and manuscripts sent to Ishiguro from other writers, students, and scholars studying his works.
Series V. Periodicals and Publications consist of entire issues of magazine, journals, and other printed items containing works by Ishiguro, as well as interviews with and articles about him. Issues are in alphabetical order by title and the significance of each is noted within parentheses.

Related Material

For additional materials related to Kazuo Ishiguro at the Ransom Center, see manuscript holdings for: Mel Gussow, Penelope Fitzgerald, Matthew J. Bruccoli, and the Allan Vorda Authors Interview Collection, as well as item number C 5482 in the Allan Vorda non-commercial sound recordings collection.

Separated Material

Twenty-four non-commercial compact discs containing interviews, readings, radio appearances, and songs and performances from Ishiguro's youth were transferred to the Ransom Center Sound Recordings Collection.
Three commercial compact discs featuring vocalist Stacey Kent and three books were transferred to the Ransom Center Library and are listed in the University of Texas Library Catalog .
Moving image material including VHS tapes and DVDs were transferred to the Ransom Center Moving Image Collection.
Two typewriters and one word processor were transferred to the Ransom Center's Personal Effects Collection. After processing the computer disks, they were also transferred to the Personal Effects Collection.

Index Terms


Bradbury, Malcolm, 1932-2000.
McCrum, Robert.
Rogers, Deborah.


Authors, English--20th century.
English fiction--20th century.
Novelists, English--20th century.

Document Types

Digital images.
Electronic documents.
Serials (publications).

Container List

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