The Remains of the Day
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Remains of the Day (1989) is Kazuo Ishiguro's third published novel. One of the most highly-regarded post-war British novels, the work was awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989. A film adaptation of the novel, made in 1993 and starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
As in Ishiguro's two previous novels, the story is told from a first person point of view. The narrator Stevens, a butler, recalls his life in the form of a diary while the action progresses through the present. Much of the novel is concerned with Stevens's professional and, above all, personal relationship with a former colleague, the housekeeper Miss Kenton. In contrast to Ishiguro's earlier work, The Remains of the Day is neither based in Japan nor told from the point of view of a Japanese person, although his first novel, A Pale View of Hills, was narrated by an elderly Japanese woman now living in Britain and took the form of the narrator's recollections of her past life in Japan.