Best-selling author inspires students at School of English event

Kent alumnus and twice-Booker nominated novelist David Mitchell (D87) returned to the School of English to discuss his work with current students.

David Mitchell

David read excerpts from his unpublished works and enjoyed a lively question and answer session at the event, where he was joined by second and third year students. He was introduced by Professor Jan Montefiore, Professor of English and American Literature, who taught David during his years at Kent and has remained a life-long friend.

During his visit, David was also interviewed by current English Literature student Emma Shelton, who is features editor of student newspaper Inquire. He reminisced about his experiences at Kent and spoke about returning to the University. He said:

“For a long time I had a ‘you shouldn’t go back’ kind of philosophy about my home town. Then middle-age comes knocking on the door, and you’re actually rather curious. It’s good to go back and see where you’re from. There’s a sense of closing a circle.”

You can read the full interview here.

Having studied English and American Literature at Kent from 1987 until 1990, David published his first novel, Ghostwritten, in 1999. His most famous and acclaimed work is Cloud Atlas, which is now a major film. He won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the South Bank Show Literature Prize and is currently working on his sixth novel.

His other books include Black Swan Green (2006), which was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by Time magazine, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010).

David was awarded an honorary degree by Kent in 2006.