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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Oct 3, 2009

This from the incom­par­able Brit­ish Council’s con­tem­por­ary writers web­site:   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 father.

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.