David Mitchell biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by David Mitchell.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

David Mitchell
Photo: Paul Stuart

David Mitchell

David Mitchell Biography

David Mitchell was born in Southport in 1969 and grew up in Malvern, Worcestershire. He studied for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an MA in Comparative Literature, at the University of Kent. He lived for a year in Sicily before moving to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England.

His first novel, Ghostwritten, was published in 1999, it tells the story of nine narrators in nine locations across the globe who tell interlocking stories. It won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

His second novel, number9dream (2001), was shortlisted for the 2002 Man Booker Prize for fiction. It is set in modern day Tokyo and tells the story of Eiji Miyake's search for his father.

In 2003 Granta magazine named David Mitchell one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'. In his latest novel, Cloud Atlas (2004), a young Pacific islander witnesses the nightfall of science and civilisation, while questions of history are explored in a series of seemingly disconnected narratives. Cloud Atlas was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Black Swan Green was published in 2006.

He lives in Ireland.

Link to David's website

This biography was last updated on 05/24/2010.

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Interview

In two separate pieces David Mitchell explains why he "didn't set out to write a historical novel just for the heck of it" and talks about his first novel, Ghostwritten, revealing some of the real-life people who inspired his characters.

An Essay by David Mitchell
"I didn't set out to write a historical novel just for the heck of it–you'd have to be mad."

Around Christmas in 1994 in Nagasaki I got off at a wrong tram-stop and stumbled upon a greenish moat and cluster of warehouses from an earlier century. This was my first encounter with Dejima, the Dutch East India Company's furthest-flung trading "factory" and its most exclusive bragging point: during the two and a half centuries of Japan's isolation, this man-made island in Nagasaki harbor, no bigger than Trafalgar Square, was the sole point of contact with the West. Dejima went to seed after the Japanese opened up other ports to international trade from the 1850s onwards, but a full-scale reconstruction is now underway. (No mean feat of engineering, this—reclamation projects have pushed the shoreline hundreds of yards away.) Back in 1994 I wasn't a published writer, but the place crackled with fictional ...

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Books by this Author

Books by David Mitchell at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

by David Mitchell

A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for David Mitchell but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Peter Bognanni

    Peter Bognanni

    Peter Bognanni is a writer currently based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His first novel, The House of Tomorrow, is out now from Amy Einhorn Books (Putnam). He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop not long ago, and his short ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Black Swan Green

    Try:
    The House of Tomorrow
    by Peter Bognanni

  • A.S. Byatt

    A.S. Byatt

    Dame Antonia Susan Byatt (b. 1936) was born and grew up in Yorkshire, England. She attended Newnham College, Cambridge; Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania; and Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied as a postgraduate.... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Ghostwritten

    Try:
    The Little Black Book of Stories
    by A.S. Byatt

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