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David Mitchell

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David Mitchell © Miriam Berkley/Random House Canada

Birth:

David Mitchell was born in Southport, England January 12,1969.

David Mitchell Biography and Writing:

David Mitchell, the son of two visual artists, didn't speak until he was five-years-old. At seven, he developed a stammer, not unlike Jason Taylor, the protagonist of Black Swan Green, who explains the difference between stuttering and stammering:

“Stuttering’s where you say the first bit of the word but can’t stop saying it over and over. St-st-st-stutter. Like that. Stammering’s where you get stuck straight after the first bit of the word. Like this. St...AMmer!”
As a child, Mitchell spent hours alone reading. His favorite books were Willard Price adventure books. As he told the New York Times, "They’d be highly politically incorrect now. Amazonian adventure. South Sea adventure. Two brave young white boys from New York, actually. And they’d go all over the world, defeat evil plots and loot the local ecosphere for their father’s zoo back in New York State."
At 18, Mitchell backpacked through India and Nepal with a girlfriend before beginning his studies of English and American Literature at the University of Kent. While at university, Mitchell babysat the sons of a professor. He wrote bedtime stories for the boys and mimic different literary styles in so doing, forshadowing the stylistic play he would later show in Cloud Atlas.

In his 20s, Mitchell taught English as a second language in England, Sicily, and Hiroshim, Japan. In his free time, he worked on his first novel - a story containing 365 chapters, 20 subplots and scores of characters - which was never published.
His first published novel, Ghostwritten (1999), was similarly complex, with nine narrators in nine locations telling interlocking stories. Ghostwritten won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shorlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Both number9dream (2001) and the structurally remarkable Cloud Atlas (2004) were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2006, Mitchell wrote the semi-autobiographical Black Swan Green and in 2010, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, an historical novel set at a Dutch East Indies Company trading post in early nineteenth century Japan.
Mitchell currently lives in West Cork, Ireland with his wife and two children.

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