The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
Imagine an empire that has shut out the world for a century and a half. No one can leave, foreigners are excluded, their religions banned and their ideas deeply mistrusted. Yet a narrow window onto this nation-fortress still exists: an artificial walled island connected to a mainland port, and manned by a handful of European traders. And locked as the land-gate may be, it cannot prevent the meeting of minds -- or hearts. The nation was Japan, the port was Nagasaki and the island was Dejima, to where David Mitchell's panoramic novel transports us in the year 1799. For one Dutch clerk, Jacob de Zoet, a dark adventure of duplicity, love, guilt, faith and murder is about to begin -- and all the while, unbeknownst to him and his feuding compatriots, the axis of global power is turning. First published 2010. Longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.
David Mitchell's first novel, GHOSTWRITTEN, was awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, NUMBER9DREAM, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and his third novel, CLOUD ATLAS, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize and won the British Book Awards Best Literary Fiction and South Bank Show Literature Prize. His previous novel, BLACK SWAN GREEN, was published in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award. Born in 1969, he grew up in Worcestershire, and now lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.