Happy Birthday, David Mitchell, born 12 January 1969
- A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.
- If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’.
- Writing is probably one-fifth coming up with the stuff, and four-fifths self-editing again and again and again.
- There’s a disease that young writers are susceptible to, which is, I will do this because I can – hubris, I suppose – without stopping to work out why.
- I’m certainly a plot and character man. Themes, structure, style – they’re valid components of a novel and you can’t complete the book without them. But I think what propels me as a reader is plot and character.
- A book you finish reading is not the same book it was before you read it.
- The art of the novelist is not unrelated to the illness of multiple personality disorder. It’s a much milder form. But the better the book, the nearer to the padded cell you are.
- The healthy can’t understand the emptied, the broken.
- Every relationship has its own language. It takes a long time to evolve and read one another. Just as it’s true for people, it’s also true on a national or cultural level.
- Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.
David Mitchell is an English novelist. He has written a number of novels, including Number9Dream and Cloud Atlas, which were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World.
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