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David Mitchell

David Mitchell - foto Murdo MacLeod
David Mitchell - foto Murdo MacLeod

(England, 1969) is an English writer with five books to his name. His breakthrough in the Netherlands came with the novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010). The book is situated in the 19th century and set in Japan, where Mitchell lived for eight years. The novel relates the adventures of some early 19th century East Indiamen. The main character is Jacob de Zoet, a humble clerk struggling with love. Mitchell was inspired by the diaries of the Dutch East Indiaman Hendrik Doeff, who ended up at the small island of Deshima, where he lived for a great number of years. What is striking is the descriptions of the Netherlands of the time, which make it hard to imagine that the book was written by a Briton. Earlier Mitchell wrote among others Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and Ghostwritten. These books were much acclaimed, not only in the Netherlands but worldwide.

(nov 2010)

Archive available for: David Mitchell

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    Wintercafe 3: VPRO De Avonden Live

    In the second hour of De Avonden poet and performer Hagar Peeters tells how she incorporates Utopian Thinking in her new book Wasdom. Writer and cabaret artist Martijn Knol writes a manual of how we can indeed build a new Utopia together for the 21st century. It is a passionate and concrete plea for a new world community. Motivational speaker and spoken word artist Omékongo Dibinga will convince the audience in a short performance that personal happiness is within reach. Tim Parks and David Mitchell talk to each other on the need of the imagination of a better world in their own work. Hosts: Jeroen van Kan and Catherine van Campen. Broadcast live on VPRO Radio. In Dutch and English.

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    David Mitchell's Great Expectations

    Kafka said a good book is like an axe able to break the ice in our frozen inner self. Can we have such great expectations of literature? Or does it mainly have restrictions? British author David Mitchell, who had a breakthrough with his latest book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet with the Dutch audience at large, in his lecture examines issues like literature, history and expectations, thereby setting the tone for the Friday night of the festival. Bas Heijne talks to him after his lecture. English spoken.