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Michael Ondaatje - Author

About the Author

Michael Ondaatje is the author of five novels including Divisadero, published by Bloomsbury in September 2007 and in paperback in August 2008, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and shortlisted for The Giller Prize and the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. He has also written a memoir, a non-fiction book on film and several books of poetry. He co-edited Lost Classics, a compendium of wonderful short essays, with Michael Redhill, Esta Spalding and Linda Spalding. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize; another of his novels, Anil’s Ghost, won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Prix Medicis. Born in Sri Lanka, he now lives in Toronto.

 

Author photo © Ulla Montan

Featured books by Michael Ondaatje

Other books by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/07/2019

'Our book of the year - and maybe of Ondaatje's career' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year **LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018** **FINALIST FOR THE 2018 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE** It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women all who seem determined to protect Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel journeys through recollection, reality and imagination to uncover all he didn't know or understand in that time, to piece together a story that feels something like the truth.

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2019

'Our book of the year - and maybe of Ondaatje's career' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year **LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018** ** FINALIST FOR THE 2018 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE** An elegiac, dreamlike novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient `The past never remains in the past...' London, 1945. The capital is still reeling from the war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents who leave the country on business, and are left in the dubious care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Nathaniel is introduced to The Moth's band of criminal misfits and is caught up in a series of teenage misadventures, from smuggling greyhounds for illegal dog racing to lovers' trysts in abandoned buildings at night. But is this eccentric crew really what and who they claim to be? And most importantly, what happened to Nathaniel's mother? Was her purported reason for leaving true? What secrets did she hide in her past? Years later Nathaniel, now an adult, begins to slowly piece together using the files of intelligence agencies - and through reality, recollection and imagination - the startling truths of puzzles formed decades earlier. ------- `A novel of shadowy brilliance' The Times `Fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory' Observer `Ondaatje brilliantly threads the mysteries and disguises and tangled loyalties and personal yearnings of the secret world...and has constructed something of real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness. I haven't read a better novel this year.' Telegraph

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2018

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, read by George Blagden.LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 An elegiac, dreamlike novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient'The past never remains in the past...'London, 1945. The capital is still reeling from the war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents who leave the country on business, and are left in the dubious care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Nathaniel is introduced to The Moth's band of criminal misfits and is caught up in a series of teenage misadventures, from smuggling greyhounds for illegal dog racing to lovers' trysts in abandoned buildings at night.But is this eccentric crew really what and who they claim to be? And most importantly, what happened to Nathaniel's mother? Was her purported reason for leaving true? What secrets did she hide in her past? Years later Nathaniel, now an adult, begins to slowly piece together using the files of intelligence agencies - and through reality, recollection and imagination - the startling truths of puzzles formed decades earlier. -------'A novel of shadowy brilliance' The Times 'Fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory' Observer'Ondaatje brilliantly threads the mysteries and disguises and tangled loyalties and personal yearnings of the secret world...and has constructed something of real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness. I haven't read a better novel this year.' Telegraph

The English Patient Winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize

The English Patient Winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2018

WINNER OF THE GOLDEN MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 `Magnificent' Sunday Times 'The best piece of fiction I've read in years' Independent on Sunday The final curtain is closing on the Second World War and in an abandoned Italian village. Hana, a nurse, tends to her sole remaining patient. Rescued from a burning plane, the anonymous Englishman is damaged beyond recognition and haunted by painful memories. The only clue Hana has to unlocking his past is the one thing he clung on to through the fire - a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, covered with hand-written notes detailing a tragic love affair.

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/05/2018

'Our book of the year - and maybe of Ondaatje's career' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year **LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018** ** FINALIST FOR THE 2018 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE** An elegiac, dreamlike novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient `The past never remains in the past...' London, 1945. The capital is still reeling from the war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents who leave the country on business, and are left in the dubious care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Nathaniel is introduced to The Moth's band of criminal misfits and is caught up in a series of teenage misadventures, from smuggling greyhounds for illegal dog racing to lovers' trysts in abandoned buildings at night. But is this eccentric crew really what and who they claim to be? And most importantly, what happened to Nathaniel's mother? Was her purported reason for leaving true? What secrets did she hide in her past? Years later Nathaniel, now an adult, begins to slowly piece together using the files of intelligence agencies - and through reality, recollection and imagination - the startling truths of puzzles formed decades earlier. ------- `A novel of shadowy brilliance' The Times `Fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory' Observer `Ondaatje brilliantly threads the mysteries and disguises and tangled loyalties and personal yearnings of the secret world...and has constructed something of real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness. I haven't read a better novel this year.' Telegraph

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/05/2018

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself - at once both shadowed and luminous - Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn't know or understand in that time, and it is this journey - through reality, recollection, and imagination - that is told in this magnificent novel.

Warlight

Warlight

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: eBook Release Date: 08/05/2018

NATIONAL BEST SELLERFrom the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.

In the Skin of a Lion Picador Classic

In the Skin of a Lion Picador Classic

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2017

With an introduction by Anne Enright Before the real city could be seen it had to be imagined, the way rumours and tall tales were a kind of charting. It is the 1920s, and Patrick Lewis has arrived in the bustling city of Toronto, leaving behind his Canadian wilderness home. Immersed in the lives of the people who surround him - the immigrants building the city, as well as those who dreamed it into being - Patrick begins to learn, from their stories, the history of the city itself. And he has his own adventures: searching for a missing millionaire, tunnelling beneath Lake Ontario, falling in love. In the Skin of a Lion is Michael Ondaatje's sparkling predecessor to his Booker Prize-winning The English Patient. Here we encounter Hana the orphaned girl and Caravaggio the thief for the first time, as well as a large cast of other characters, all lovingly and intimately portrayed. Exquisite and musical, In the Skin of a Lion is a novel that challenges the boundary between history and myth. It is a stunning modern classic.

Little America in Western Australia

Little America in Western Australia

Author: Michael Ondaatje, Anthony Barker Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2015

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The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2012

From the acclaimed author of The English Patient comes a stunningly beautiful novel about a boy's life-changing journey from Ceylon to England in the 1950s. What had there been before such a ship in my life? A dugout canoe on a river journey? A launch in Trincomalee harbour? There were always fishing boats on our horizon. But I could never imagine the grandeur of this castle that was to cross the sea. In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner in Colombo bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the lowly 'cat's table' , as far from the Captain's table as can be, with a ragtag group of adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship crosses the Indian Ocean the boys tumble from one adventure to another, and at night they spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and fate a mystery that will haunt them forever...

Cat's Table

Cat's Table

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: eBook Release Date: 04/10/2011

In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the ';cat's table'as far from the Captain's Table as can bewith a ragtag group of ';insignificant' adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. But there are other diversions as well: one man talks with them about jazz and women, another opens the door to the world of literature. The narrator's elusive, beautiful cousin Emily becomes his confidante, allowing him to see himself ';with a distant eye' for the first time, and to feel the first stirring of desire. Another Cat's Table denizen, the shadowy Miss Lasqueti, is perhaps more than what she seems. And very late every night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and his fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves between the decks and holds of the ship and the boy's adult years, it tells a spellbinding storyby turns poignant and electrifyingabout the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.From the Hardcover edition.

The English Patient

The English Patient

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2011

Hana, a Canadian nurse, exhausted by death, and grieving for her own dead father; the maimed thief-turned-Allied-agent, Caravaggio; Kip, the emotionally detached Indian sapper - each is haunted in different ways by the man they know only as the English patient, a nameless burn victim who lies in an upstairs room. His extraordinary knowledge and morphine-induced memories - of the North African desert, of explorers and tribes, of history and cartography; and also of forbidden love, suffering and betrayal - illuminate the story, and leave all the characters for ever changed.

Handwriting

Handwriting

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

The poems in Handwriting are memories of Sri Lanka: the rituals and traditions, history and geography, the smells and tastes and colours of his first home. Here are sunless forests, cattle-bells, stilt-walkers 'with the movement of prehistoric birds'; a Buddha buried 'so roots/like fingers of a blind monk/spread for two hundred years over his face'; 'saffron and panic seed, lotus flowers, sandalwood; a lover, who lay her fearless heart/light as a barn owl/against him all night'. Handwriting is an elegy for lost childhood, for a culture and language lost to the turmoil of history, but it is also a glimpse of the source of the writer's delicate, erotic, mysterious imagination. By focussing on writing frankly about beautiful things, Ondaatje takes the poems beyond narrative to these simple, deeply sensual images - given to us in a language that is pared, cursive and exquisite.

Anil's Ghost

Anil's Ghost

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of a bloody civil war. Enter Anil Tissera, a young woman and forensic anthropologist born in Sri Lanka but educted in the West, sent by an international human rights group to identify the victims of the murder campaigns sweeping the island. When Anil discovers that the bones found in an ancient burial site are in fact those of a much more recent victim, her search for the terrible truth hidden in her homeland begins. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity - a story driven by a riventing mystery.

Anil's Ghost

Anil's Ghost

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/03/2011

A novel by the Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient . The result is a disturbing and timeless revelatory journey.

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