David Mitchell (author)

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David Mitchell
David Mitchell by Kubik.JPG
David Mitchell, 2006
Born (1969-01-12) 12 January 1969 (age 45)
Southport, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Kent
Period 1999-present
Notable works Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Notable awards John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
1999 Ghostwritten

David Stephen Mitchell (born 12 January 1969) is an English novelist. He has written five novels, two of which, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has lived in Italy, Japan and Ireland.

Early life[edit]

Mitchell was born in Southport in Merseyside, England, and raised in Malvern, Worcestershire. He was educated at Hanley Castle High School and at the University of Kent, where he obtained a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature.

Mitchell lived in Sicily for a year, then moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England, where he could live on his earnings as a writer and support his pregnant wife.[1]

Work[edit]

Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten (1999), moves around the globe, from Okinawa to Mongolia to pre-Millennial New York City, as nine narrators tell stories that interlock and intersect. The novel won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (for best work of British literature written by an author under 35) and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.[2] His two subsequent novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.[3] In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.[4] In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.[5]

In 2012 his novel Cloud Atlas was made into a film.[6] In recent years he has also written opera libretti. Wake, based on the 2000 Enschede fireworks disaster and with music by Klaas de Vries, was performed by the Dutch Nationale Reisopera in 2010.[7] He has also finished another opera, Sunken Garden, with the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, to be premiered in 2013 by the English National Opera.[8][9]

Mitchell's sixth novel, The Bone Clocks, will be released on September 4th 2014.[10] In an interview in The Spectator, Mitchell said that the novel has "dollops of the fantastic in it", and is about "stuff between life and death".[11] The opera Sunken Garden works as a prologue to Mitchell's forthcoming book, which will be finished in the second half of 2013. It will take place in the years between 1984 and 2057.[12] The Bone Clocks was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Personal life[edit]

After another stint in Japan, Mitchell currently lives with his wife Keiko Yoshida and their two children in Ardfield, Clonakilty in County Cork, Ireland. In an essay for Random House, Mitchell wrote:[13] "I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, but until I came to Japan to live in 1994 I was too easily distracted to do much about it. I would probably have become a writer wherever I lived, but would I have become the same writer if I'd spent the last six years in London, or Cape Town, or Moose Jaw, on an oil rig or in the circus? This is my answer to myself."

Mitchell has the speech disorder of stammering[14] and considers the film The King's Speech (2010) to be one of the most accurate portrayals of what it's like to be a stammerer:[14] "I'd probably still be avoiding the subject today had I not outed myself by writing a semi-autobiographical novel, Black Swan Green, narrated by a stammering 13 year old."[14] Mitchell is also a patron of the British Stammering Association.[15]

One of Mitchell's children is autistic, and in 2013 he and wife Keiko translated into English a book written by a 13-year-old Japanese boy with autism, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism.[16]

List of works[edit]

Novels

Short stories

Other

References[edit]

  1. ^ "My wife and I moved to the UK in 2002 because it dawned on us, midway through her second trimester, that back in England I could support the soon-to-be three of us from my earnings as a writer alone. If we had stayed in Japan, on the other hand, where the cost of living was higher, I would have had to stick with the day job in order to bring home enough yen, and I would have been unable to help with the imminent arrival any more than an average Japanese husband—that is, not a lot." http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6034/the-art-of-fiction-no-204-david-mitchell
  2. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra (1999-11-06). "Readers pick top Guardian books". The Guardian (London). 
  3. ^ "Man Booker Prize Archive". 
  4. ^ Mitchell, D. (2003). "Best of Young British Novelists 2003: The January Man". Granta (81). 
  5. ^ "The Time 100". Time. 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood brings novel to life in $100m movie". Malvern Gazette (Weybridge: Newsquest Media Group). 13 August 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012 One segment of "Ghostwritten" was made into a BAFTA nominated short film in 2011 starring Martin Freeman, titled "The Voorman Problem".. 
  7. ^ David Mitchell (8 May 2010). "Article by Mitchell describing how he became involved in ''Wake''". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  8. ^ "Details of ''Sunken Garden'' from Van der Aa's official website". Vanderaa.net. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  9. ^ "David Mitchell" Dialogue Talk.
  10. ^ "New David Mitchell novel out next autumn". The Bookseller. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  11. ^ "Interview with a writer: David Mitchell". The Spectator. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Interview David Mitchell". Goedekleedjes.nl. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  13. ^ "Bold Type: Essay by David Mitchell". Randomhouse.com. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  14. ^ a b c "Lost for words", David Mitchell, Prospect magazine, 23 February 2011, Issue #180
  15. ^ "Black Swan Green revisited". Speaking Out (British Stammering Association). Spring 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  16. ^ Tisdale, Sallie (23 August 2013). "Voice of the Voiceless". The New York imes. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "The world begins its turn with you, or how David Mitchell's novels think". In B. Schoene. The Cosmopolitan Novel. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
  • Dillon, S. (ed.). David Mitchell: Critical Essays. Kent: Gylphi, 2011.

External links[edit]