Julian Barnes

Butler Peels His Own Onion

The Remains of the Day

By Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber 245pp £11.99 order from our bookshop

Kazuo Ishiguro has been widely praised for his ‘Japanese’ virtues as a writer: delicacy, subtlety, quiet irony, watercolour tones, etc. The fact that he was born in Japan and set his first two novels there makes such ethno-critical diagnosis easier. On the other hand, the listed qualities could just as easily be seen as typical of a line of English writing. Ishiguro, after all, writes in English; he left Japan for England at the age of six, and has yet to revisit his native land.

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