• Birth—January 12, 1969
• Where—Southport, Lancashire, UK
• Education—B.A., M.A., University of Kent
• Awards—John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
• Currently—lives in County Cork, Ireland
David Mitchell is an English novelist, the author of several novels, two of which, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has lived in Italy, Japan and Ireland. Mitchell currently lives with his wife Keiko Yoshida and their two children in Ardfield, Clonakilty in County Cork, Ireland.
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. He 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.
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. His two subsequent novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.
In 2012 his novel Cloud Atlas was made into a film. 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. For his other opera, Sunken Garden, he collaborated with the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa. It premiered in 2013 with the English National Opera.
Mitchell's sixth novel, The Bone Clocks, was released on September 2nd, 2014. 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." The book was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
In a Random House essay, Mitchell wrote:
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 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: "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."
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.
List of works
Cloud Atlas (2004)
Black Swan Green (2006)
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010)
The Bone Clocks (2014)
"What You Do Not Know You Want", McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, 2004
"Judith Castle", New York Times, January 2008
"The Massive Rat", Guardian, August 2009
"Character Development", Guardian, September 2009
"Muggins Here", Guardian, August 2010
"Variations on a Theme by Mister Donut", Granta 127: Japan, Spring 2014.
"January Man" Granta 81
(Bio adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/4/2014.)
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