Listen David Mitchell and his thousand autumns
Listen Mitchell talks about the original Dutch settlement at Nagasaki
Listen Mitchell talks about writing and his next novel
Listen Mitchell reads from 'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet'
While he's hugely popular around the world, British novelist David Mitchell is still somewhat of a cult figure in the U.S.
Mitchell has written five novels, each in a different style and genre. Two were shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Mitchell's status in the U.S. may be about to change. His new novel, "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet," debuted this week on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a historical novel set in 1799, on a tiny artificial island in the harbor at Nagasaki, Japan.
Japan was closed to foreigners at the time, but a dozen or so traders with the Dutch East India company were given special permission to work there. Mitchell says it was a unique place, and they lived a strange existance.
He spoke with MPR's Euan Kerr about their story.