David Mitchell, whose complex novel “Cloud Atlas” was adapted into a film last year, has quietly hit bestseller listsagain as one of three authors of “The Reason I Jump.” He shares credit with KA Yoshida and young Japanese writer Naoki Higashida. Higashida has a severe form of autism, but, as a 13-year-old, wrote this book about what it’s like to live inside his head. Mitchell collaborated with his wife, Yoshida, on the translation from the Japanese; as parents of an autistic child, they see the book as a way to break through the speechlessness of autism.
Mitchell, who appeared on “The Daily Show” earlier this month to talk about the book, spoke to us by phone from his home in Ireland.
Why was it important to you to translate Naoki Higashida’s “The Reason I Jump” into English?