One of the greatest living novelists, the famous Japanese-born Brit Kazuo Ishiguro has shipped his extensive writing archives to the University of Texas, or more precisely to the Harry Ransom Center, which is a research library that houses many manuscripts and source novel material. The university paid just over $1m (£635,000) to acquire the material, a library spokeswoman said.
In the writing archives is an unpublished opening chapter for his best-known novel, The Remains of the Day (which won him the Man Booker prize and was enjoyed great success as a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson), extensive notes on his works, drafts of novels such as Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant, as well as unpublished works and attempts at screenplays and songs, among which is a track called Shingles which young Ishiguro wrote and sent to a major record label in hope of getting a contract.
Ishiguro even found a manuscript he previously thought he had lost while he was sorting his archives in order to ship them off to the University of Texas. It is a pulp western, which was his first attempt at writing fiction. He wrote a short novel afterwards, called To Remember a Summer By, and we know it was sent to at least one publisher and subsequently rejected.
Ishiguro’s first claim to fame was his first novel A Pale View of the Hills, but he truly struck gold with The Remains of the Day at the tail end of the 1980’s.
In the 1990s, a friend told Ishiguro to keep an archive of his notes. “This struck me as extreme, but from then on, instead of giving the contents of the cardboard box to the refuse collectors, I began emptying them in plastic crates and storing them in the attic,” Ishiguro said.