Mitch Cullin

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Mitch Cullin
Born (1968-03-23) March 23, 1968 (age 54)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
GenreLiterary fiction
Literary movementPostmodern literature
New Regionalism
LGBT literature
Notable worksTideland
A Slight Trick of the Mind
PartnerPeter I. Chang[1]

Mitch Cullin (born March 23, 1968) is an American writer. He is the author of seven novels, and one short story collection. He currently resides in Arcadia, California and Tokyo, Japan with his partner and frequent collaborator Peter I. Chang.[2][3] His books have been translated into over 10 languages, among them French,[4] Polish,[5] Japanese,[6] and Italian.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Cullin was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent.


The New York Times has described Cullin's writing as "brilliant and beautiful,"[8] but the author has confessed that "half the time I'm not even sure why I make choices in writing, or how it works when it works."[9]

Books and film adaptations[edit]

Cullin's novel Tideland was adapted for the screen and directed by Terry Gilliam[10] in 2003, and the author also made a brief cameo appearance in the film, later stating about his time on the set: "There was a part of me that wanted to watch and experience every aspect of what Terry was doing… and he allowed me to do that while I was there if I wished to… but at the same time, I didn’t want his process to become too demystified… because I wanted to buy a ticket someday and sit down in a dark theater and simply watch the film without knowing too much about how it was filmed."[11] Despite mixed reviews from critics, Gilliam's film adaptation won the 2005 FIPRESCI prize at San Sebastián International Film Festival.[12]

In 2005, Cullin published his sixth novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind, a portrait of Sherlock Holmes in old age, for which The New York Times praised the author as being "an unusually sophisticated theorist of human nature,"[13] and Carolyn See of The Washington Post stated that "you don't read it to be 'improved' but for the plain joy of seeing what the language can do in the hands of an affectionate, very accomplished writer."[14] The audiobook edition of the novel won the Audio Publishers Association's 2006 Audie Awards for Unabridged Fiction.[15]

Cullin's seventh novel The Post-War Dream was published by Random House in March 2008.[16]

In April 2012, and to coincide with celebration of National Poetry Month, Cullin published The House of Special Purpose, a long narrative poem written almost two decades previously and featuring illustrations by Peter I. Chang, which chronicles the last days of the Romanov family during the Russian Revolution of 1918.[17]

From May 2012 to February 2013, Cullin serialized the novel Everything Beautiful is Far Away as an online monthly magazine through the Issuu publication site. The book was written in collaboration with Peter I. Chang, and featured monthly guest artists and musicians, including Moby, Tsutomu Nakayama, Fights Monsters, Pleq, IP (Identity Problem), Caitlin Kirkley, DJ Terrapin, Chemical Tapes, Wind In Willows, Incompetech, Adriana Pasley, and The Ghost of Mendelsshon. Each monthly issue of Everything Beautiful is Far Away is free to read online via the Issuu site:[18]

A film version of Cullin's A Slight Trick of the Mind, titled Mr. Holmes, with Ian McKellen starring as Sherlock Holmes, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Bill Condon, was released in 2015.


While attending the University of Houston in the mid 1990s, Cullin befriended the author Mary Gaitskill. Gaitskill taught him in several writing classes. She remained a mentor after he dropped out of college and moved to Tucson, Arizona to write.[9] Since then, Cullin and Gaitskill have stayed friends, and in 2005 they did a one-on-one author appearance at Manhattan's Housing Works.[19]

Some of Cullin's early unpublished writings (including Afternoon Misdemeanors, The House of Special Purpose, and 6 Poems) are housed at Syracuse University in its archive collection of poet scholar Robert S. Phillips' papers, letters, manuscripts, and correspondence.[20]

Along with writers including Salman Rushdie and Amy Tan, Cullin is a founding author of the non-profit Red Room website.[21]

Music and film work[edit]

Cullin has worked with Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, helping to design the cover and logo for Gelb's 2003 solo album The Listener.

The following year, with Canadian musicians Todd Bryanton and Rob Bryanton, he co-wrote the song "Lift Me Up To Sweet Jesus" for the soundtrack of Terry Gilliam's Tideland, a film based on his novel of the same name, and in which he has a cameo appearance.[22]

Cullin is credited as the producer of Peter I. Chang's film I Want to Destroy America, a documentary about the life of Hisao Shinagawa,[23] and he is also credited as the cinematographer and producer on Peter I. Chang's 2008 documentary Tokyo is Dreaming.[24]



Title Original Publication Date Original Publisher ISBN
Whompyjawed 1999 The Permanent Press Cullin, Mitch (June 2007), Whompyjawed, ISBN 978-1-57962-199-5
Branches 2000 The Permanent Press Cullin, Mitch (2000), Branches, ISBN 978-1-57962-061-5
Tideland 2000 Dufour Editions Cullin, Mitch (2006), Tideland, ISBN 978-0-8023-1340-9
The Cosmology of Bing 2001 The Permanent Press Cullin, Mitch (2001), The Cosmology of Bing, ISBN 978-1-57962-030-1
UnderSurface 2002 The Permanent Press Cullin, Mitch (2002), UnderSurface, ISBN 978-1-57962-077-6
A Slight Trick of the Mind 2005 Doubleday Cullin, Mitch (2006), A Slight Trick of the Mind, ISBN 978-1-4000-7822-6
The Post-War Dream 2008 Doubleday Cullin, Mitch (2008), The Post-War Dream, ISBN 978-0-385-51329-6
The House of Special Purpose 2012 Workshop Lo-Vi Editions The House of Special Purpose, ASIN B007V9X0BO
Everything Beautiful is Far Away 2012 to 2013, serialized novel Workshop Lo-Vi Editions

Short Story Collections[edit]

Title Original Publication Date Original Publisher ISBN
From the Place in the Valley Deep in the Forest 2001 Dufour Editions Cullin, Mitch (2001), From the Place in the Valley Deep in the Forest, ISBN 978-0-8023-1336-2


Title Story Contribution Original Publication Date Original Publisher ISBN
Best Gay Erotica 1996 Playing Solitaire 1996 Cleis Press Ford, Michael (1996), Best Gay Erotica 1996, ISBN 978-1-57344-052-3
Happily Ever After The Snow Prince & The Bear 1996 Masquerade Books Ford, Michael (1996), Happily Ever After, ISBN 978-1-56333-450-4
Best American Gay Fiction 2 Sifting Through 1997 Little, Brown Bouldrey, Brian (September 1997), Best American Gay Fiction 2, ISBN 978-0-316-10299-5
Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium Excerpt from 'The Cosmology of Bing' 2000 Alyson Books Drake, Robert; Wolverton, Terry (2000), Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium, ISBN 978-1-55583-517-0
Afterwords Aguas de Marco 2001 Alyson Books Bentley, Kevin (2001), Afterwords, ISBN 978-1-55583-656-6
M2M: New Literary Fiction Fall 2003 AttaGirl Press Woelz, Karl (2003), M2M: New Literary Fiction, ISBN 978-0-929435-72-5
Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing Crows in the Hair 2004 The University of Wisconsin Press Wild, Peter (2007), Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing, ISBN 978-0-9552829-3-5
The Flash Bullets 2007 Social Disease Wild, Peter (2007), The Flash, ISBN 978-0-9552829-3-5
Sweet Dreams #1
At the Nageku Kinenhi 2007 Sweet Dreams Sweet Dreams #1, ISBN 978-4-9903771-0-6


Title Original Publication Date Original Publisher Notes
INKEI/KAO 2007 Workshop Lo-Vi limited edition[25]
Tokyo is Dreaming 2008 Workshop Lo-Vi limited edition[26]



  1. ^ Gathman, Roger (9 April 2001). "Not Your Everyday Texan". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Red Room bio". Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  3. ^ Weeks, Jerome (May 11, 2005), "A cult writer creates some mainstream buzz", The Dallas Morning News, archived from the original on March 4, 2008, retrieved 2008-01-28
  4. ^ "France (Editions Naive)". 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  5. ^ Polish edition. 2006. ISBN 9788374693356. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  6. ^ "Japan (Kadokawa)". 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  7. ^ "Italy (Giano Editore)". Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  8. ^ Jim LewisPublished: September 24, 2000 (2000-09-24). "24 September 2000". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  9. ^ a b "Publishers Weekly profile". Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  10. ^ "Tideland The Movie". Tideland The Movie. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  11. ^ "Dreams interview". Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  12. ^ 2005 SSIFF Archived August 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "New York Times review". The New York Times. 2005-05-15. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  14. ^ "Washington Post". The Washington Post. 2005-04-22. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  15. ^ "Audie Awards". Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  16. ^ "Random House". Random House. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  17. ^ "The House of Special Purpose [SAMPLE PAGES] by Workshop Lo-Vi". ISSUU. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  18. ^ "Workshop Lo-Vi". ISSUU. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  19. ^ Hogan, Ron, Pages from the social Diary, (blog), retrieved 2008-01-06
  20. ^ Robert S. Phillips Papers, Syracuse University, retrieved 2008-01-06
  21. ^ RedRoom writer profile, Red Room, archived from the original on November 13, 2011, retrieved 2008-01-06
  22. ^ Soundtrack for Tideland, IMDB, retrieved 2008-01-06
  23. ^ "A rock 'n' roll dream that won't die". Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  24. ^ Mitch Cullin – IMDb
  25. ^ "Inkei/Kao". Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  26. ^ "Tokyo is Dreaming". Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-30.

External links[edit]