Julian Mitchell has lived in seven different counties in England before finally moving to South Devon in 2005. He set Missing on Dartmoor in the beautiful landscape of the moor that is close to his home. He enjoys outdoor activities and tends peoples gardens on behalf of a local charity. He decided to base one of the storylines in his book on thefts from farms that are blighting farmers in Devon and other countryside communities .
Imaginary Toys is a novel of Oxford after World War Two, where class consciousness has become newly acute, and a quartet of narrators wrestle with their studies and their more personal difficulties - among the four a coalminer's son and the daughter of a solid bourgeois family, who fall in love to the discomfort of their respective friends.
In the first of a sequence of reflective, autobiographical new introductions composed especially for Faber Finds' reissues of his early novels, Julian Mitchell recalls the atmosphere of mid-1950s Oxford, and the path he took to a literary vocation.
In an introduction written especially for this edition, Julian Mitchell describes his interest in writing 'a reverse Henry James novel, about a European discovering America rather than vice-versa.'
'Like Nabokov, but without his cynicism, Mr Mitchell sets the geography of the United States in motion.' Anthony Burgess, Observer
'This raid on the American psyche, so hilarious, yet so horrific in its implications, proves Mr Mitchell a first-rate satirist.' Telegraph