David Mitchell's world is always growing. Raised in England's West Midlands, Mitchell lived in London for a time before moving to Japan in 1994 — while he was in his 20s — to work as an English teacher. After eight years in Hiroshima, he returned to the U.K. to launch his career as a novelist.

The setting and style of Mitchell's early work seemed to be influenced by his experiences living and working in Japan. Not only were his first novels, "Ghostwritten" and "number9dream," set there, but critics also noted the influence of Japanese authors, in particular Haruki Murakami, on his writing.

After those early works, Mitchell's scope expanded. Epics such as "Cloud Atlas" and "The Bone Clocks" explode with complex plots that traverse continents and generations.