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Michael Ondaatje


  Male      Canadian      Novelist

  Born : Sep 12, 1943  


About Author

Philip Michael Ondaatje, OC (born 12 September 1943), is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist and poet. He won the Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient (1992), which was adapted as the 1996 film of the same name.

Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) of Burgher ancestry in 1943 and moved to England in 1954. He attended Dulwich College. After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. He studied at Bishop's College School and Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec for some time. He then moved to Toronto, where he received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.

He began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London. In 1970, he settled in Toronto. From 1971 to 1990, he taught English literature at York University and Glendon College.

Ondaatje's work includes fiction, autobiography, poetry and film. He has published 13 books of poetry, and won the Governor General's Award for The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970) and There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems 1973–1978 (1979). Anil's Ghost (2000) was the winner of the 2000 Giller Prize, the Prix Médicis, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the 2001 Irish Times International Fiction Prize and Canada's Governor General's Award. The English Patient (1992) won the Booker Prize, the Canada Australia Prize, and the Governor General's Award. It was adapted as a motion picture, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and multiple other awards. In the Skin of a Lion (1987), a novel about early immigrant settlers in Toronto, was the winner of the 1988 City of Toronto Book Award, finalist for the 1987 Ritz Paris Hemingway Award for best novel of the year in English, and winner of the first Canada Reads competition in 2002. Coming Through Slaughter (1976), is a novel set in New Orleans, Louisiana circa 1900, loosely based on the lives of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden and photographer E. J. Bellocq. It was the winner of the 1976 Books in Canada First Novel Award. Divisadero won the 2007 Governor General's Award. Running in the Family (1982) is a semi-fictional memoir of his Sri Lankan childhood...


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