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David Mitchell named as the second writer to contribute to Katie Paterson's Future Library
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Image (c) Leo van der Noort 2006

The multi-award winning British novelist David Mitchell has been named as the second writer to contribute to Future Library. On being invited as the 2015 author David Mitchell commented:

“Civilisation, according to one of those handy Chinese proverbs, is the basking in the shade of trees planted a hundred years ago, trees which the gardener knew would outlive him or her, but which he or she planted anyway for the pleasure of people not yet born. I accepted the Future Library’s invitation to participate because I would like to plant such a tree. The project is a vote of confidence that, despite the catastrophist shadows under which we live, the future will still be a brightish place willing and able to complete an artistic endeavour begun by long-dead people a century ago. Imagine if the Future Library had been conceived in 1914, and a hundred authors from all over the world had written a hundred volumes between 1915 and today, unseen until now – what a human highway through time to be a part of. Contributing and belonging to a narrative arc longer than your own lifespan is good for your soul.”


Future Library is a public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson that will unfold over 100 years in the city of Oslo, Norway. A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 100 years' time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. 



View from the planting of Katie Paterson’s Future Library, May 2014. Photo: MJC

Katie Paterson said:
“David Mitchell makes the world a spirited place. His work is transporting and polyphonic, blending time, dreams and reality. I am elated he is Future Library’s 2015 author. His locked-away text will allow future generations to telescope into other worlds.”

The first text has been written and delivered by the internationally renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood, titled Scribbler Moon. All 100 manuscripts will be held in a specially designed room in the new Deichmanske Public Library opening in 2019 in Bjørvika, Oslo. Intended to be a space of contemplation, this room - designed by the artist and architects - will be lined with wood from the forest. The authors’ names and titles of their works will be on display, but none of the manuscripts will be available for reading – until their publication in one century’s time. No adult living now will ever know what is inside the boxes, other than that they are texts of some kind that will withstand the ravages of time and be technologically available in the year 2114. 

David Mitchell will hand over his manuscript at a special ceremony in Norway in 2016.

Download press release here.


Conceived by Katie Paterson, Future Library is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling, originally curated by Situations, and managed by the Future Library Trust. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment.


For press inquiries, please contact Cassandra Robinson at or 212.714.9500.


For more on Katie Paterson and the Future Library project, click here.