David Mitchell: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

(2701 words)

David Mitchell’s fifth novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010), is a work of historical fiction set in Dejima, a man-made island in the Bay of Nagasaki. The novel was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, and won the South Asia and Europe category of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2011. Mitchell was inspired to write the novel after he “got off at the wrong tram stop” in Nagasaki in 1994 and came across a “cluster of warehouses from an earlier century” (“On Historical Fiction”, 555). The novel depicts the exploits of Jacob de Zoet, a young clerk in the employ of the Dutch East India Trading Company (VOC) who journeys to Dejima in 1799 to assist Chief Resident Unico Vorstenbosch in purging the …

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Frame, Kelly Susan. "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 July 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=29673, accessed 30 September 2016.]