Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021
The #1 Sunday Times Bestseller
Featured in Barack Obama's Summer Reading List 2021
'This is a novel for fans of Never Let Me Go . . . tender, touching and true.' The Times
'The Sun always has ways to reach us.'
From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
In Klara and the Sun, his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly-changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
'Flawless' The Times
'Another masterpiece' Observer
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The emotionally perceptive android at the heart of this captivating novel might just change the way you think about science fiction forever. Klara is an AF, or “Artificial Friend.” Purchased as a companion for a bright girl named Josie who has potentially deadly health problems, Klara grows to love her human friend—but to distrust Josie’s family. And it turns out there’s a good reason. Pulitzer Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) has written a heartfelt, thought-provoking story that’s brilliant science fiction for people who don’t think they like science fiction. We were enthralled by the questions posed by Ishiguro’s near-future world, where technology hurts just as much as it helps. Ultimately, this story isn’t about gadgets. It’s about people—and the things they do out of both hope and fear. Klara may be a machine, but her story will renew your faith in humankind.
Nobel laureate Ishiguro takes readers to a vaguely futuristic, technologically advanced setting reminiscent of his Never Let Me Go for a surprising parable about love, humanity, and science. Klara is an Artificial Friend (AF), a humanlike robot designed to be a child's companion. She spends her days watching humans from her perch in the AF store, fascinated by their emotions and hungry to learn enough to help her future owner. Klara, who is solar-powered, reveres the sun for the "nourishment" and upholds "him" as a godlike figure. Klara is eventually bought by teenager Josie and continues to learn about humans through her interactions with Josie's family and childhood friend. When Josie becomes seriously ill, Klara pleads with the sun to make her well again and confronts the boundary between service and sacrifice. While the climax lends a touch of fantasy, Klara's relationship with the sun, which is hidden at times by smog, touches on the consequences of environmental destruction. As with Ishiguro's other works, the rich inner reflections of his protagonists offer big takeaways, and Klara's quiet but astute observations of human nature land with profound gravity ("There was something very special, but it wasn't inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her," Klara says). This dazzling genre-bending work is a delight.