By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas - Longlisted for the Man Booker PrizeIn 2007, Time magazine named him one of the most influential velists in the world. He has twice been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. The New York Times Book Review called him simply a genius. Now David Mitchell lends fresh credence to The Guardian's claim that each of his books seems entirely different from that which preceded it. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a stunning departure for this brilliant, restless, and wildly ambitious author, a giant leap forward by even his own high standards. A bold and epic vel of a rarely visited point in history, it is a work as exquisitely rendered as it is irresistibly readable. The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island that is the Japanese Empire's single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancee back in Holland. But Jacob's original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, Who ain't a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life? A magnificent mix of lumius writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author. Praise for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet A page-turner . . . [David] Mitchell's masterpiece; and also, I am convinced, a masterpiece of our time. --Richard Eder, The Boston Globe An achingly romantic story of forbidden love . . . Mitchell's incredible prose is on stunning display. . . . A vel of ideas, of longing, of good and evil and those who fall somewhere in between [that] confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless writers alive. --Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review The velist who's been showing us the future of fiction has published a classic, old-fashioned tale . . . an epic of sacrificial love, clashing civilizations and enemies who won't rest until whole family lines have been snuffed out. --Ron Charles, The Washington Post By any standards, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a formidable marvel. --James Wood, The New Yorker A beautiful vel, full of life and authenticity, atmosphere and characters that breathe. --Maureen Corrigan, NPRLook for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.
David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Bone Clocks, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children. From the Hardcover edition.
Associate Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation David Mitchell