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David Mitchell biography

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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'. Cloud Atlas (2004), was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. His recent works include Black Swan Green (2006), The Bone Clocks (2014) and Slade House (2015).

Link to David's website

This biography was last updated on 03/04/2016.

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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
Slade House jacket The Bone Clocks jacket The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet jacket Black Swan Green jacket
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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

  • Chris Adrian

    Chris Adrian

    Chris Adrian was born in Washington, D.C. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is currently a medical student in Virginia. Part of this novel first appeared in The New Yorker under the title 'Every Night ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Slade House

    Try:
    A Better Angel
    by Chris Adrian

  • Stuart Archer Cohen

    Stuart Archer Cohen

    Stuart Archer Cohen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1958. After graduating from high school he spent a year hitchhiking around the United States, hopping freight trains and traveling with a circus as a prop man, then attended... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Bone Clocks

    Try:
    This Is How It Really Sounds
    by Stuart Archer Cohen

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