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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - LSC Kingwood

 Manor House, photo taken 1988, B.Bradley


The Remains of the Day was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of 1989 and won the prestigious Booker Prize in England.  In it, Ishiguro describes the relationship between a butler and the gentleman he served between WWI and WWII.  Stevens, the butler, narrates the book giving voice to his reflections on his life and the consequences of decisions he made as a younger man.

The Times Literary Supplement described The Remains of the Day  as "strong as it is delicate,... finely nuanced and at times a humorous study of repression."   (Contemporary Authors, v. 49 p.196)

The Author

Kazuo Ishiguro, born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, has been a resident of Great Britain since 1960.  He attended the University of Kent, receiving a B.A. with honors, and later attended the University of East Anglia, where he won an M.A. in creative writing.  His novels often deal with self-realization of an individual's life based on insight gained through self-examination.

Details of the novel

Librarian Talk . . .  About Books!
  • Books offer helpful information about time periods, authors and the literary works. Use them to help begin your review of literature on Remains of the Day.
  • Apply online for a library card. Use your card to 1) Place a Hold on a book and have it sent to the library closest to you  2) Access journal and reference databases from home, and 3) Access Online the eBook Collection from EBSCCOhost.
  • Online books (database paid for by our libraries) are available in the eBook Collection.  Use your library card to log in.  Create a free account to save favorite titles or your own notes on the books you read.
More about...Finding Books (31 sec.)

Books containing information about Kazuo Ishiguro and The Remains of the Day can be found by searching the LSCS Libraries catalog.   Use the title or author's name as a subject keyword search to find books about the novel and the author.   Books in the reference collection will help students develop a topic, find an overview of the novel and know more about the background of the author and novel.  

Reference books which discuss The Remains of the Day are:

  • PN 41 .D5 Dictionary of Literary Biography - See volume 194 for information on Ishiguro's life.
  • PN 771 .C59 Contemporary Literary Criticism - See volumes 59 and 110 for excerpts of critical articles which analyze Remains of the Day.
  • PR 85.B688 British Writers - Supplementary volume IV contains information about Ishiguro and this novel.

Circulating books about Ishiguro and The Remains of the Day are:

  • PR 6059.S5 R4637 Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day: A reader's guide.  Adam Parkes
  • PR 6059.S5 Z87 Understanding Kazuo Ishiguro.  Brian W. Shaffer.  Available through the eBook Collection
  • Now Read This: A guide to mainstream fiction 1978-1998. Nancy Pearl. Available through the eBook Collection.


 Librarian Talk about Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. Use them to find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more. Home access to article databases is available with your current library card barcode number. If you need assistance finding an article contact the Reference Librarians and they will help you get the article. Email the full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if necessary. Use your library card to login to these online journal databases. 

More about searching databases (25 sec.)

Databases are electronic resources that will help you find journal articles which analyze literature and articles about authors.  The eBook Collection is a database of full text online books.  View books online; create a free account to save favorite book titles and notes. Project Muse and JSTOR are very good for locating scholarly journal articles.

  • Project Muse - Begin your search by entering the title of the novel in the search box in quotation marks.  Use the limiters on the left side of the screen to focus your search to Journals, full access (complete articles), or research areas. You can Modify a search to add keywords from your thesis - click on the + mark to add search boxes.  This database is also entirely scholarly, so all articles will be of the appropriate academic level for your research.
  • JSTOR- Use the Advanced Search page and enter one keyword or keyword phrase in each of the boxes offered for the most productive searches. Begin with keywords Ishiguro and Remains then add keywords from your thesis. Uncheck the box next to "include links to external content" in order to retieve full text or complete articles. Limit your results to Articles to find scholarly articles which analyze the novel. Focus your results by choosing Language & Literature from the disciplines list.
  • Academic Search Complete   - This multi subject database contains some articles analyzing The Remains of the Day. Limit searches to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals to find articles from literary journals.
  • Literature Resource Center  - A literary database containing articles from scholarly journals as well as information from reference sources. Use the title search to find information about The Remains of the Day.  This is a good way to begin your research, and find major themes or a topic for your thesis. You will find full text critical essays in the Literary criticism section. 
  • Bloom's Literary Database Online  |  This database is a collection of many analytical essays discussing literature.  These essays, originally published in print form, are accessible now for research online. Find information about The Remains of the Day, or the life of Kazuo Ishiguro and his body of work.  Included are discussions of great works of literature-from influential novels, poems, and plays to important works of nonfiction.

 Librarian Talk about the Internet!

The internet can be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you DO want to find reputable sites.

Evaluate for:

  • Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof of that research.
  • Source - Look at the domain:  .edu   .gov   .org  .net are valid research sources. Your company's website is also a valuable resource.
  • Authority - What are the author's credentials? (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.)
  • Coverage - Does the website have the information you need for your research?
  • Objectivity - If a work is biased, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. Offer both sides of issues, where applicable.
More about finding internet sources (25 sec.)

Kazuo Ishiguro interview with Charlie Rose, 1995Internet sites can be helpful for research in literature.  Students should be aware that not all sites are suitable academically for the type of research colleges require.  Look at the site and judge it for quality (is it well written?), validity (are facts and statements correct?), currency (is it up to date?), authority (who wrote or created the web page?), and general acceptability.   If you are in doubt, check with your instructor.  Some sites which may be helpful to your research are linked below.

  • Kazuo Ishiguro page created by British Council for the Arts.   A great place to go for information on his life and work.
  • Interview with Ishiguro in January Magazine.  Questioned by Linda Richards, editor of January Magazine, Ishiguro's answers offer insight into his work.
  • Interview with Kazuo Ishiguro on Charlie Rose, PBS, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1995.


Librarian Talk about getting help!

Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following resources if you need additional help. Remember, the expert on the assignment is your professor; use the eCollege VISTA in-class email to contact her.

More about getting help (25 sec.)

Citing Sources Using MLA Style | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

Avoiding Plagiarism  |   Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.

University of Texas Copyright Crash Course | This helpful guide on copyright is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.

The Learning Center   |   Check the TLC hours for in-house tutoring.

Page created by Becky Bradley 2/19/02, updated 7/2012, B.Bradley

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