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Interviews

David Mitchell

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet:  No Geishas, Please

David Mitchell In a remote corner of the Royal Ontario Museum stands a three-foot wooden carving of an unnamed Shinto goddess from the 11th or 12th century. Her arms are folded in her elegant gown, her eyes hooded, her half-smile enigmatic. The idols beside her are larger, more extravagantly carved. Nonetheless, she draws you in.

Her mysterious mien is just the thing to fascinate a storyteller, and when novelist David Mitchell first spotted her last summer, he started asking himself questions. “She’s terribly sentient, isn’t she?” he muses. “We can’t really [understand] those eyes, so we impose what we can on to them. Is she looking at infinity? Is it spite? We don’t quite know, so our imaginations work harder.”

— Story continues at The National Post

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