David Mitchell is a novelist whose books include Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas, and Black Swan Green. Time magazine considered Mitchell to be one of the hundred most influential people in the world in 2007.
Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides … I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.