The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell


In your hands is a place like no other: a tiny, man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki, for two hundred years the sole gateway between Japan and the West. Here, in the dying days of the 18th century, a young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune. Instead he loses his heart. Step onto the streets of Dejima and mingle with scheming traders, spies, interpreters, servants and concubines as two cultures converge. In a tale of integrity and corruption, passion and power, the key is control – of riches and minds, and over death itself.

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Jacob de Zoet is a clerk with the Dutch East India Trading Company who voyages to Japan in the late 18th Century. There he falls in love with Orito, a midwife with a horrible burn on one side of her face, but whom he finds beautiful nonetheless.

However, relationships between foreigners are frowned upon, and there are others higher up in Nagasaki society who have plans of their own for Orito. This novel is absolutely fascinating in its level of historical detail.

By: Calvin Scholtz, Wordsworth Longbeach


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