Author David Mitchell “returns” to Hiroshima in Cloud Atlas

Cloud AtlasThe Hiroshima release of the all-star movie Cloud Atlas on March 15 sees the return of one of its former residents.  

Kind of.

David Mitchell, author of the book of which the movie is an adaptation, spent around 8 years living and working in Hiroshima. I remember bumping into him in the corridor of a now-no-more English language school on his return from a sabbatical. What had he been up to, I asked. David replied that he had written a novel. I don’t know about today, but back in the late 1990s this was just the kind of thing that you’d expect an EFL teacher to say, and I probably smiled and said something like, “That’s nice”.

That book, it turned out, was Ghostwritten, and the beginning of the author’s meteoric rise.

The film adaptation of his third book – reviewed here on GetHiroshima back in the year of its publication, seems to have divided critics elsewhere in the world. I for one will be going to see it when it opens in Hiroshima, if only to try and catch the author’s 4 second cameo mentioned in this quite nice interview.

Back in 2002, just before he left Hiroshima, David Mitchell sat down with Marc Williams and talked about his time in Hiroshima and Japan. In the interview, he reveals how little bits of his Hiroshima worked their way into his early novels, and looking at it now makes me realize how much the city has changed. Hiroshima “lifers” may enjoy being reminded of places now no longer around.

Cloud Atlas Trailer


David Mitchell talks about Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas opens at Warner Mycal on March 15.


Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.