Mortality and memory in Kazuo Ishiguro’s never let me go

Wing Yin Virginia YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This article offers a reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go as a meditation on human mortality. Set in an alternate England in the 1990s, the tragic love story revolves around the relationship between three human clones. The novel depicts the trio’s growing awareness of their fate and the way they cope with the pressure and anxiety consequent on understanding what lies before them. The article investigates how the situation reflects human beings’ confrontation with mortality. The discussion places an emphasis on the link between mortality and memory, which is posited as a function of the mind that can help assuage the psychic trauma of mortality in the story. Copyright © 2017 Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransnational Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


Yeung, V. (2017). Mortality and memory in Ishiguro Kazuo’s Never let me go. Transnational Literature, 9(2). Retrieved from


  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Cloning
  • Memory
  • Narrative
  • Mortality
  • Science fiction


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