Born in Southport in 1969, David
Mitchell grew up in Malvern, Worcestershire, studying for a
degree in English and American Literature followed by an MAin
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.
In his first novel, Ghostwritten (1999), nine narrators in
nine locations across the globe tell interlocking stories.
This novel 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
In 2003 David Mitchell was named by Granta magazine as one of
twenty ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. In his third 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.
David Mitchell lives in Ireland.
His latest novel is Black Swan Green (2006)
We met in Toronto to talk about
experimentation and realism, plot, character and all that
good stuff, but also about the greatness of John Cheever, high
brow and pulp fiction, good pot boilers, the cosmos, cosmi,
connections, melding verbs, platitudinous profundities,
critics as platypus taxidermists, poetry in prose, the
originalities of happy blunders and cultural
juxtapositions, Perec’s W, monkeying with structure,
planning your funeral, evaluative criticism, and the
delightful experience of reading Chekhov’s short stories.
Combine the human desire to know (Aristotle) with the joy found in good conversation (Montaigne) and a wish to share the results, and you have the idea behind why I host and produce The Biblio File.
"I want to learn as much as I can about 'the book,' and to communicate what I learn, to those who share my interest. The best way to do this, I figure - in addition to reading a lot - is to question and engage with authors, yes, but also book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents. Bibliophiles. People who, like me, love books."
The results are here for you to listen to.
Feedback or suggestions? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Nigel Beale's website at www.nigelbeale.com
Literary Destination episodes are also posted at www.literarytourist.org