Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel Klara and the Sun published | Sunday Observer

Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel Klara and the Sun published

18 April, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Page count: 307

Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel Klara and the Sun was published last month. It is his first novel after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. As critics mention, through this book he again proves to be one thing above all: an elegant narrator, a great moralist who shows us the fragility and also the beauty of human existence.

Klara and the Sun is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the other character Josie live in the United States in the distant future. It’s a world that is perhaps not so far off after all and in which people are categorised in a caste system - those who still seem to be useful to society, and those who are sorted out because they don’t want to participate, or because they are no longer needed, as artificial beings have taken over many tasks and made many jobs superfluous.

Klara and the Sun is not simply a dystopian fantasy. Like all his books, Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel revolves around existential questions: How do we remember - and what? What makes us human? What does it mean to love - and what price are we willing to pay for love?

Klara has no memories. She discovers the world through observation and only gradually understands what task she has been assigned. And she learns what friendship is, what love is.

In its award citation in 2017, the Nobel Committee described Ishiguro’s books as “novels of great emotional force” and said he has “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”. This book is a testament for that.