By the "e;New York Times "e;bestselling author of "e;The Bone Clocks"e; and "e;Cloud Atlas "e;- Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
In 2007, "e; Time"e; magazine named him one of the most influential novelists in the world. He has twice been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize."e; The New York Times Book Review"e; called him simply a genius. Now David Mitchell lends fresh credence to "e;The Guardian"e; s claim that each of his books seems entirely different from that which preceded it. "e;The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet"e; is a stunning departure for this brilliant, restless, and wildly ambitious author, a giant leap forward by even his own high standards. A bold and epic novel of a rarely visited point in history, it is a work as exquisitely rendered as it is irresistibly readable.
The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island that is the Japanese Empire s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancee back in Holland.
But Jacob s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob s worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, Who ain t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?
A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, "e;The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet"e; is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.
Praise for "e;The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet"e;
A page-turner . . . David] Mitchell s masterpiece; and also, I am convinced, a masterpiece of our time. Richard Eder, "e;The Boston Globe"e;
An achingly romantic story of forbidden love . . . Mitchell s incredible prose is on stunning display. . . . A novel of ideas, of longing, of good and evil and those who fall somewhere in between that] confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless writers alive. Dave Eggers, "e;The New York Times Book Review"e;
The novelist who s been showing us the future of fiction has published a classic, old-fashioned tale . . . an epic of sacrificial love, clashing civilizations and enemies who won t rest until whole family lines have been snuffed out. Ron Charles, "e;The Washington Post"e;
By any standards, "e;The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet "e;is a formidable marvel. James Wood, "e;The New Yorker"e;
A beautiful novel, full of life and authenticity, atmosphere and characters that breathe. Maureen Corrigan, NPR
Look for special features inside.Join the Random House Reader s Circle for author chats and more."e;
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Random House Publishing Group