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.
Mitchell is an English novelist. He has written six novels, includingnumber9dream and Cloud Atlas, which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
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