Quietly Mad With Island Fever

Quietly Mad With Island Fever

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 In 1799 a lowly Dutch clerk for the Dutch East Indies Company shows up on an artificial island in Nagasaki harbor in Japan. It’s basically a floating prison - the only place where foreigners are allowed to live and work and trade in a Japan that’s ferociously suspicious of the outside world and protective of its own traditions. For a novelist it makes for a wonderful self enclosed world, a laboratory for the meeting of east and west. That’s the setting of David Mitchell’s novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Mitchell, best known for his books The Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green has won numerous awards, been short listed twice for the Man Booker prize and been named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.