Round these parts, it's big news when Kazuo Ishiguro has a new book out. Nocturnes doesn't hit the States till fall, but the UK is already ramping up. The Guardian has a profile of the author, wherein we learn:
After five novels, Nocturnes is Ishiguro's first collection of short
stories. Although linked by the pathos of their nostalgic aesthetic,
they read as five discrete short stories, but he seems uncomfortable
about describing them as such, referring to Nocturnes instead as a
"Well I'm not quite sure what you're supposed to
call it," he admits. "I've been resisting calling it a collection of
short stories because sometimes novelists do publish collections of
short stories, and they're basically a rag bag of stories they've had
sitting around for the last 30 years. Whereas this book I actually sat
down and wrote from start to finish.
"I don't know what proper
short story writers would think of this, but I've gone about this in
the way a novelist would. I don't claim to be a short story writer, and
I have no idea if I'm doing it properly; I'm just writing this almost
like a novelist. It sounds very pretentious, but you know some music
forms, like sonatas, you get five what seem like totally separate
pieces of music but they go together."
It does seem to be an odd form for Ishiguro, and I'm eager to see if he makes it work. From start to finish, he seems to be one of the few authors to emerge from the 1980s that is still getting noticably better.