A Bookseller's Response to Ishiguro's Nobel Win

"My favorite writer, Kazuo Ishiguro, won the #NobelPrize2017 for Literature. I'd like to tell you what it means to me," Kenny Coble, a writer and a bookseller at King's Books, Tacoma, Wash., wrote yesterday morning to begin a compelling series of tweets.

You can read them on Twitter, or in The Stranger, which highlighted all of the tweets, noting: "So, behold: a thoughtful and touching and funny and rambling and wonderful thread from one of Ishiguro's closest readers."

Here's a brief selection from Coble's observations:

At the beginning of my bookselling career, twelve years ago, I worked for Borders Books & Music. Never Let Me Go was brand new in hardcover and I was new enough to all this that I had never heard of Ishiguro.

I may have told you this. One of the reasons I am a bookseller is because I was not given a book by an Asian writer until high school and I never want another kid to go that long without being exposed to a writer with their background.

Like many other writers of color around the world, writers of the Japanese diaspora are vastly underrepresented in the American book industry.

What also caught my attention: Ishiguro was not only Japanese, he was also British. He carried two lands in his body. This made sense to me as the son of a Japanese mother and an American father.

The thing is, I look for Ishiguro in everyone's writing. His sense of memory, of time's power, of love's relentlessness—they course through the veins of modern literature.

As ecstatic as I am that Kazuo Ishiguro won the #NobelLiteraturePrize, the next ten winners ought to be women. The @NobelPrize committee has some catching up to do when it comes to representation. 100 of 114 Nobel Lit Laureates are men.

The Stranger offered an excellent recommendation: "If you're in Tacoma, go buy an Ishiguro book from him--or any other kind of book for that matter. He's exactly the person you want to talk to."

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