STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The Swedish Academy awarded English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature earlier today. The committee lauded the Japanese-born author, “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”
While many leading academics have praised the selection, others have criticized the Swedish Academy for yet again overlooking Japanese light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi. Fushimi’s works, which include Eromanga Sensei and Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, have been described by Alexandre Poitier of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers as “transcendent masterpieces of narrative prose.”
“The exclusion of Tsukasa Fushimi time and time again confirms the Eurocentric-bias of the Nobel Committee,” Poitier tells Anime Maru. “Every year, it is obvious that they are looking over Fushimi for extra-literary reasons. It is the most brazen rebuff since Mark Twain.”
Poitier’s criticism is not without merit — Swedish authors alone have won more Nobel Prizes in Literature than all Asian authors combined. And while Ishiguro’s novels An Artist of the Floating World and Never Let Me Go are revered by critics and literary scholars alike, none of them have been adapted into anime.
Jason Conrady of the National University of Ireland suggests the Swedish Academy is hesitant to recognize Fushimi’s due to the controversial subject matter of his work, much like notable 20th century authors Karel Čapek and Vladimir Nabokov.
“Perhaps the Fushimi avant-garde narrative challenges to existing social structures and the very nature of family and love simply pushes the envelope too far for the obscurantists in the Swedish Academy,” said Conrady.
Fushimi himself did not respond when asked to comment. For the moment, his destiny seems to be with Haruki Murakami and Kinoko Nasu on the shortlist of Japanese Nobel Literature snubs.