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Michael Ondaatje Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Coming Through Slaughter (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Running in the Family (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Skin of a Lion (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The English Patient (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anil's Ghost (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Divisadero (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cat's Table (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Warlight (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Brick Reader (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brick (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brick, Number 69 (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Conversations (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Michael Ondaatje is a reputed novelist from Sri Lanka living in Canada. He is known to be a popular filmmaker, editor, poet, and fiction writer as well. Author Ondaatje has received several prestigious literary awards in his career, including the Prix Medicis Etranger, Booker Prize, Governor General Award, and the Giller Prize. Ondaatje is recognized among the most famous living authors of Canada as he is Order of Canada’s Officer. The writing career of author Ondaatje started in 1967 with poetry. He went on to publish Daily Monsters and then wrote a critically acclaimed collection in 1970. Recently, author Ondaatje is mainly recognized for the nationally & internationally successful book called English Patient. This 1992 book was later selected for its adaptation into a movie in 1996.

Author Ondaatje became the winner of the Golden Man’s Booker Prize in 2018 for this novel. Along with being famous for his literary works, author Ondaatkje is also recognized for his contribution in building the new writing of Canada. He was committed to the Coach House Press for 2 decades and is credited to have worked on some of the renowned Canadian literary works’ editing, such as the journal called Brick, and some anthologies. Author Ondaatje was born on September 12, 1943 in Colombo. He has Sinhalese, Tamil, and Dutch ancestries. Ondaatje’s parents got divorced when he was very young. So, he had to live with some relatives for some time, and then went to live with his mom in England. He studied at the St. Thomas College in Colombo before shifting to England. After his relocation, he began his secondary education at the Dulwich College. In 1962, Ondaatje moved to Montreal in Quebec. He continued his studies at the Bishop’s University, located in Lennozville. Finally, author Ondaatje obtained his bachelor’s degree in arts from the Toronto University in 1965.

Two years later, he earned his Master’s degree from the Queen’s University in Kingston. During his undergraduate days in Bishop’s, author Ondaatje came across a popular poet named D.G. Jones, who praised Ondaatje’s ability as a poet and also became his mentor some time later. Ondaatje did not choose the career in the writing field right away. Following the completion of his studies, he started teaching at the Western Ontario University. Ondaatje was mainly involved in teaching English to college students. As he was feeling reluctant for getting his PhD, author Ondaatje left Western Ontario and joined the Glendon College for the teaching job. The works of author Ondaatje comprise of poetry, film, autobiography, and fiction. So far, he was written and published a total of 13 poetry books, many of which have helped him to win prestigious awards. One of his books, Coming Through Slaughter, is loosely inspired by the lives of EJ Bellocq, a photographer; and Buddy Bolden, a jazz pioneer. This book won the First Novel Prize in 1976. Author Ondaatje is happily married and has 2 children. His first wife was a Canadian artist named Kim Ondaatje. Several relatives of Ondaatje are involved in the film and business industry, including his nephew named David Ondaatje and his brother, Christopher Ondaatje. Ondaatje has worked very hard throughout his life and feels content with whatever he has achieved. He only wants his fans to keep loving him and continue to appreciate all his future works.

A well known book penned by author Michael Ondaatje is entitled ‘The English Patient’. It was released by the McClelland and Stewart publishing company in the year 2006, after its first release in 1992. Ondaatje has done the book’s setting in places like Nort Africa, Tuscany, Cairo, Florence, Sahara Desert, and Fiesole. He has mentioned the lead characters in the roles of Geoffrey Clifton, David Caravaggio, Kip, Ladislaus De Almasy, Hana, and Katherine Clifton. The book’s plot takes place during the Second World War and describes how 4 dissimilar people are brought together in a villa in Italy at the time of Italy’s War Campaign. The chief character is a majorly burned man, who is the patient and thought to be of English origin. He is supported by an army nurse from Canada, a thief from Canada, and a Sikh sapper in the British Army.

As the story begins around the campaigns in North Africa, it moves ahead to provide some incremental revelations by the patient, who regains his memory slowly and describes his actions before sustaining the serious injuries. As the story continues further, it shows how the other characters get affected by all the revelations. As the story is narrated through the words of the patient, it moves back & forth many times. Ladislaus de Almasy is introduced into the story as the seriously burned patient, who comes into the care of Hana, a well trained nurse. As Almasy’s identity could not be established, he is not given nationality. As Almasy regains his memory little by little, he narrates his life’s story to Hana. The story goes to end with the bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the United States. The book’s 1996 movie adaptation starred Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Colin Firth in the main roles. It won 9 Academy Awards at the 69th Annual Academy Awards.

Another interesting story written by Ondaatje is called ‘The Cat’s Table’. It was published by the Cape publication in 2011. This novel’ story describes the journey of an 11-year old boy from Colombo to England on a ship and the experiences he came across during his travel. The ‘Cat’s Table’ is the name given to the table on which the boy has his meal and which is located very far from the captain’s table. Among the primary characters, author Ondaatje has portrayed Ramadhin, Cassius, Emily, Miss Lasqueti, etc.

At the beginning of the story of the book, it is depicted that the boy sets sail to England from Colombo on the ship known as Oransay during the 1950s. He remains in the company of some insignificant adults and 2 boys, Ramadhin and Cassius. These three boys come across numerous adventures as the ship crosses Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, etc. They also face some diversions from their adventures and get involved in different activities. Overall, the book tells an electrifying and poignant story describing childhood’s magical discoveries. The novel was well appreciated by numerous critics and was liked by one and all. Its spellbinding narration touched the hearts of a large number of readers from all across the world and made them fall in love with the characters and the story. Several prominent authors gave praising reviews to the book and applauded the efforts of author Ondaatje for coming with such a unique story. It boosted his confidence to write many more interesting stories in the future.

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