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Something Unlocked: Exploring Culture, Style & Genre in the Fiction of Kazuo Ishiguro

Together we will read and revel in five novels and a book of short stories by the culture-crossing, genre-bending, Nobel Prize winning Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro is lauded for his elegant prose as much as for his bold experiments in genre and form. A Japanese-British man, he explores the experiences and consciousness of characters from a range of gender, cultural, historical, and fantastical perspectives, in stories that include precise psychological realism along with ghosts, ogres, musicians, butlers, and AI.

As writers reading together, we will examine the stylistic and technical choices that Ishiguro makes and what this offers us in terms of creative possibility. We will consider the novels as stand-alone works and will also seek to trace the evolution of Ishiguro's craft from his first novel to his most recent. Participants will be invited to relate the reading to their own experiences and creative experiments. In class, we will also look at the critical and popular reception of Ishiguro's novels and compare that to our understanding of them.

NOTE: You can register for just the first session, or receive a discount by committing to both. 

Session 1
January 22: A Pale View of the Hills (1985)
February 26: Remains of the Day (1989)
March 26: Never Let Me Go (2005)

Session 2
April 23: Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music & Nightfall (2009)
May 28: The Buried Giant (2015)
June 25: Klara and the Sun (2021)
This class is co-sponsored by Loganberry Books on Larchmere Boulevard. Registered students will receive a code to purchase the books at a discount—10% off per title, or all 6 for 15% off!

About Reader Series Classes

Reader series classes provide college-level analysis and discussion of contemporary literature at community-friendly prices and times, taking you on a deep dive into specific topic or author to gain a more advanced understanding of literature and the world. Experienced instructors will provide history, context, and analysis, and guide in-depth discussion that will help make you an expert in a single subject or author’s body of work.

For the best experience in this class, read each book before the assigned meeting. However, you are more than welcome to attend the session even if you have not finished it. No matter your level of prior knowledge, you will receive a wealth of materials and insights in a condensed period, like a masterclass or a great course, only right here in Cleveland.

Instructor: Toni K. Thayer is a two-time recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, once in playwriting and once in fiction. She holds an MFA in fiction from Goddard College and an MA in English with a focus on medieval women’s literature from Cleveland State University. Her professional life has spanned feminist theater and writing and editing for an alternative newspaper to fundraising for women’s health and teaching English and creative writing.

Details: Something Unlocked: Exploring Culture, Style & Genre in the Fiction of Kazuo Ishiguro takes place Saturdays January 22, February 26, March 26, April 23, May 28, and June 25 from 10am-12pm remotely through Zoom.
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