Friday, 6 March 2015

The Pencil Case of Kazuo Ishiguro

That morning Ruth had got a chair behind a desk, and I was sitting up on its lid, with two or three others of our group perched or leaning in nearby. In fact, I think it was when I was squeezing up to let someone else in beside me that I first noticed the pencil case.

I can see the thing now like it's here in front of me. It was shiny, like a polished shoe; a deep tan colour with circled red dots drifting all over it. The zip across the top edge had a furry pom-pom to pull it. I'd almost sat on the pencil case when I'd shifted and Ruth quickly moved it out of my way. But I'd seen it, as she'd intended me to, and I said:

"Oh! Where did you get that? Was it in the Sale?"
It was noisy in the room, but the girls nearby had heard, so there were soon four or five of us staring admiringly at the pencil case. Ruth said nothing for a few seconds while she checked carefully the faces around her. Finally she said very deliberately:

"Let's just agree. Let's agree I got it in the Sale." Then she gave us a knowing smile.

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go, London: Faber and Faber 2005

1 comment:

  1. Lovely to read this after just reading a remarkable interview with Ishiguro at the Paris Review.