novelist, born in Southport. After completing his studies at Kent University, Mitchell spent eight years living in Japan, where he wrote the first of the formally ambitious novels that brought him to critical attention. The intricate Ghostwritten (1999) tells nine stories, set all across the world but which brush subtly past each other. His number9dream (2001) is the energetic first‐person narrative of young Eiji Miyake's search for his father in modern‐day Tokyo. Cloud Atlas (2004) is also made of narratives that appear unconnected, spanning continents and centuries—like Ghostwritten, the canvas is broad and the structure brilliantly sophisticated. In Black Swan Green (2006) Mitchell returns to Worcestershire, the site of his own childhood, for a year in the life of 13‐year‐old Jason Taylor.