Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143505
Title: There and back again: Reclaiming and reconstructing the idea of home in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro and Ruth Ozeki
Authors: WAI THU KHIN SAN NEW
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: WAI THU KHIN SAN NEW (2018-04-16). There and back again: Reclaiming and reconstructing the idea of home in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro and Ruth Ozeki. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Identified as an English writer, Kazuo Ishiguro has often been declared by readers as not Japanese enough; despite being a Japanese diaspora writer, his novels appear to avoid the themes and issues commonly raised in diaspora literature, particularly divided identities and a yearning for home. His style, instead, relies heavily on retelling the past through an unreliable narrator. In contrast, Ruth Ozeki's novels make use of a key biracial character to drive the plot; the issue of biracial identity and mixed identities are interwoven with discourses of globality, power relations, and the environment. This paper aims to draw these two writers together despite their apparently very different approaches to writing, in order to argue that they both demonstrate an interest in the concept of home and origin, via the return narrative. Studying first Ishiguro's use of the past as origin, this paper argues that he employs a metaphorical return narrative on two levels: first, the level of the protagonists in their repeated returns to their pasts as home, and second, on the level of the writer, as he reconstructs his past home, past-Japan, in A Pale View of Hills and An Artist of the Floating World. Next, this paper will argue that Ozeki pushes the return narrative further in its concept of the home as origin and the elsewhere as foreign land, disentangling the concept of home from the origin, in response to the more modern context of migration, globality, and an increasingly shrinking world.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143505
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