With the paperback of Klara and the Sun finally out in the wild, we thought it fitting to put together a list on where to start with the work of Kazuo Ishiguro – in the unlikely event you’ve never come across his work before!

Never Let Me Go

A story of love, friendship and memory – themes that often crop up in Ishiguro’s writing. Never Let Me Go is probably his most well-known book.

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England.

Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world.

The Remains of the Day

If you haven’t read it, you may have seen the film adaptation. The Remains of the Day is still a cult classic.

A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro’s beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House.

In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside and into his past.

The Buried Giant

This was Ishiguro’s return, after a decade without publishing a novel. It’s a departure from his regular style, taking on a fantastical post-Arthurian Britain.

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years.

They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Bonus: Nocturnes

A bonus choice for short story lovers, this collection has a unique and delicate combination of heartbreak and consolation.

In Nocturnes, Kazuo Ishiguro explores ideas of love, music and the passing of time. From the piazzas of Italy to the ‘hush-hush floor’ of an exclusive Hollywood Hotel, the characters we encounter range from young dreamers to cafe musicians to faded stars, all of them at some moment of reckoning.

Gentle, intimate and witty, this quintet is marked by a haunting theme – the struggle to keep alive a sense of life’s romance, even as one gets older, relationships founder and youthful hopes recede.

Klara and the Sun

‘The Sun always has ways to reach us.’

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

In Klara and The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

Have we missed your favourite? What would you recommend from Ishiguro’s backlist?

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