Louis Menand on Kazuo Ishiguro

From The New Yorker:

It is always a puzzle to know where Ishiguro’s true subject lies. The emotional situation in his novels is spelled out in meticulous, sometimes comically tedious detail, and the focus is entirely on the narrator’s struggles to achieve clarity and contentment in an uncoöperative world. Ishiguro is expert at getting readers choked up over these struggles—even over the ludicrous self-deceptions of the butler in “The Remains of the Day,” the hopeless Stevens. But he is also expert at arranging his figurines against shadowy and suggestive backdrops: post-fascist Japan, in “A Pale View of Hills” (1982) and “An Artist of the Floating World” (1986); an unidentified Central European town undergoing an indeterminate cultural crisis, in “The Unconsoled” (1995); Shanghai at the time of the Sino-Japanese War, in “When We Were Orphans” (2000). It seems important to an understanding of “The Remains of the Day” that the man for whom Stevens once worked, Lord Darlington, was a Fascist sympathizer.

More here.