Klarity

Our poet of ontological doubt
by
March 2021, no. 429
Buy this book

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber, $44.95 hb, 320 pp

Klarity

Our poet of ontological doubt
by
March 2021, no. 429

Klara is an Artificial Friend (AF), an android companion for spoiled tweens. She’s not the newest model, but what Klara lacks in top-of-the-line joint mobility and showy acrobatics, she makes up for in observational nous; she’s an uncommonly gifted reader of faces and bodies, a finely calibrated empathy machine. Every feeling Klara decodes becomes part of her neural circuitry. The more she sees, the more she’s able to feel.

But to a solar-powered robot, no feeling can compete with pure unadulterated sunlight, that re-energising ultraviolet rush. As Klara poses in a shop window, waiting to be chosen, a mythology is born. The Sun – capital S – becomes holy to her, and she spends her showroom days collecting evidence of His divine and benevolent workings. Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel, is a parable of idolatry and other lonely human(oid) bargains. When we build a consciousness in our own image, we should not be surprised, Ishiguro argues, when that invented mind invents its own God.

Beejay Silcox reviews 'Klara and the Sun' by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Faber, $44.95 hb, 320 pp

Buy this book

You May Also Like

Comment (1)

  • Posted by Joe
    04 March 2021

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.