David Mitchell

Telling Stories

In a recent Fresh Air interview, David Mitchell talked about his craft. “I think it's through stories that we perceive the world. It’s through stories that we communicate with one another." You don’t have to look far for examples. People have stories about politics and religion, and perceive the world accordingly. They have stories about race and gender and love. They have stories about themselves, about who they are or who they’re supposed to be.



“The rain carried on falling, keeping customers away. The rain fell softly, then heavily, then softly. Static hisses on telephone lines. Jimmy Cobb’s percussion on ‘Blue in Green.’” The record shop clerk in David Mitchell’s “Ghostwritten” thinks a lot about music. It makes a place in his head, refuge from a bustling Tokyo.


The Well-Tempered Clavier

"To me it means molecular harmony. To my father, it means a broken sewing machine. To Bach, it means an experiment in writing for every available key. To Bach's wife, it means money to pay his wig maker. Who's right? Individually, we all are. Generally, none of us are."

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