Alfred A. Knopf announced Thursday that Ishiguro's “The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain,” coming out March 5, is a collection of lyrics written for the million-selling jazz singer Stacey Kent. Ishiguro and Kent are longtime friends and collaborators; Ishiguro wrote lyrics for a handful of songs on Kent's “Breakfast on the Morning Tram,” which in 2009 received a Grammy nomination for best jazz vocal album, and also contributed to such Kent albums as “Dreamer in Concert” and “I Know I Dream.”
“I’ve built a reputation over the years as a writer of stories, but I started out writing songs,” Ishiguro, best known for such novels as “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go,” said in a statement Thursday.
The book combines older compositions dating back to 2007 and four “cinema” works for an upcoming project with Kent. “The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain” also includes an introduction by Ishiguro, illustrations by the Italian artist Bianca Bagnarelli and a QR code that links to an album of Kent performing songs by the author.
“Kazuo Ishiguro has often said that he views the songwriting he did in his youth as an apprenticeship for his work as a novelist, and in this beguiling book of lyrics for the American jazz musician Stacy Kent one feels a variation on the haunting sorrow and hopefulness that echo through each of his novels," Knopf Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Jordan Pavlin said in a statement.