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Kazuo Ishiguro

I realize that there are only two writers in this series who were born after 1950, and one of them is Vikram Seth, for whom I had to make a special case to show that he could be considered a British writer. The only unquestionably British writer on the list then, in spite of his Japanese origins, is Kazuo Ishiguro.

This is not really special pleading on the part of an Asian because I note that, when in 2008 the Times published a list of the ‘50 greatest British writers since 1945’, Iain Banks was the only such young , unquestionably British, writer of prose, apart from J K Rowling. The other two born after 1950, all three in fact in 1954, were Ishiguro and Hanif Kureishi. This may have to do with the fact that writers will take time to establish a reputation but, given the early successes of many writers earlier in the century, perhaps one should also wonder whether there is simply less talent around.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

February 2011
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