Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cloud Atlas

This evening we did a talk with the novelist, David Mitchell. Very nice, interesting guy. He lived in Japan same time as me (though I never met him then), teaching English in Hiroshima, married a Japanese woman and then moved to Ireland ("because at the time Irish-based writers didn't pay tax" he cheerily admitted - though that's changed now). He's written five novels, the second & third of which were both nominated for the Booker Prize. I read his second, number9dream, but it's his third, Cloud Atlas, that really made his name, and has been turned into a German-produced blockbuster film by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski Brothers, with a stellar Anglo-American cast: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant etc. It premieres at the Toronto Film Festival next month but we gave a sneak preview of the trailer which looked suitably 'epic'. 
He's also a Patron of the British Stammering Association, having been a stammerer for much of his life, although he seems to have completely conquered it now. Very nice guy, unpretentious and self-effacing. We're sending him to Shanghai for more talks & stuff tomorrow. "Just put me on the train, I'll be fine". If only all visiting artists were as easy to manage...  

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