David Mitchell (author)

David Mitchell (author)
David Mitchell

David Mitchell at Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA), 27 April 2006
Born 12 January 1969 (1969-01-12) (age 42)
Southport, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Kent
Period 1999-present
Notable work(s) Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Notable award(s) 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 were shortlisted for the Booker Prize.



David Mitchell was born in Southport, Merseyside, in England, raised in Malvern, Worcestershire, and educated at the University of Kent, studying for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. He lived for a year in Sicily, 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] After another stint in Japan, he currently lives in Clonakilty, Ireland, with his wife Keiko and their two children. In an essay for Random House, Mitchell wrote:[2] "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 6 years in London, or Cape Town, or Moose Jaw, on an oil rig or in the circus? This is my answer to myself."

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.[citation needed] His two subsequent novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.[citation needed] In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.[citation needed] In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.[3] Mitchell's American editor at Random House is novelist David Ebershoff.

Mitchell's sixth novel, as yet untitled, will be about a young girl growing up in an Irish family.[4]

Mitchell has the speech disorder of stammering[5] 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:[5] "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."[5] Mitchell is also a patron of the British Stammering Association.[6]


Further reading


  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. ^ Bold Type: Essay by David Mitchell
  3. ^ "The Time 100". Time. 2007-05-03. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100/article/0,28804,1595326_1595332_1616691,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Between the Covers". The Independent. 2011-03-20. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/between-the-covers-20032011-2246878.html. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  5. ^ a b c "Lost for words", David Mitchell, Prospect magazine, 23 February 2011, Issue #180
  6. ^ "Black Swan Green revisited". Speaking Out (British Stammering Association). Spring 2011. http://stammering.org/bsgrevisited.html. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 

External links

Short stories

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