In October 2005 a worldwide competition was launched to find an artist to illustrate Yann Martel’s international bestseller. Media partners included The Globe and Mail in Canada, The Times in the UK and The Age in Australia, with an international panel of judges that included Canadians Martin Levin, Books Editor of The Globe and Mail, Executive Publisher Louise Dennys and Random House of Canada Creative Director C.S. Richardson. From thousands of entries, Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac was chosen as the illustrator for this new edition of Life of Pi.
Yann Martel is the prize-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and of Self. His novel Life of Pi won the 2002 Man Booker Prize, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and is an international bestseller. Yann Martel currently lives in Saskatoon.
Tomislav Torjanac was born in 1972 in Croatia, where he lives and works as a freelance illustrator. His life is not unlike his favourite medium (oil paints) or his style: slow and quiet, but colourful. When he’s not painting, he likes reading, listening to music, walking, trying to outstare his neurotic cat Puki or spending non-quality time with his two dogs Nero and His Brother. Amongst other things, he’s done many book covers and illustrated a few children’s books, including James Joyce’s The Cat and the Devil.
"Life of Pi…is about many things — religion, zoology, fear — but most of all, it’s about sheer tenacity. Martel has created a funny, wise and highliy original look at what it means to be human."
"In the end, Life of Pi may not, as its teller promises, persuade readers to believe in God, but it makes a fine argument for the divinity of good art."
—Noel Rieder, The Gazette (Montreal)
"Martel’s latest literary offering, Life of Pi, is an exquisitely crafted tale that could be described as a castaway adventure story cum allegory."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"In many ways, Life of Pi is a good old-fashioned boy’s book full of survival, cannibalism, horror, math and zoology. An impressive marriage of The Jungle Book with Lord of the Flies, it’s the harrowing coming of age tale of a boy who survives for over a year in a lifeboat with a zebra, an organgutan, an hyena and a Bengal tiger."
—The Montreal Mirror
"A good story can make you see, understand and believe, and Martel is a very good storyteller. Martel displays an impresive knowledge of language, history, religion and literature, and his writing is filled with details and insights."
—The Canadian Press
"[Life of Pi] has a buoyant, exotic, insistence reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s most Gothic fiction…Oddities abound and the storytelling is first-rate. Yann Martel has written a novel full of grisly reality, outlandish plot, inventive setting and thought-provoking questions about the value and purpose of fiction. This novel should float."
—The Edmonton Journal
"I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down. It is a realistic, gripping story of survival at sea. On one level, the book is a suspenseful adventure story, a demonstration of how extreme need alters a man’s character…. On another level, this is a profound meditation on the role of religion in human life and the nature of animals, wild and human. His language…is vivid and striking. His imagination if powerful, his range enormous, his capacity for persuasion almost limitless. I predict that Yann Martel will develop into one of Canada’s great writers."
—The Hamilton Spectator
"[M]artel’s writing is so original you might think he wants you to read as if, like a perfect snowflake, no other book had ever had this form…. In Pi one gleans that faith — one of the most ephemeral emotions, yet crucial whenever life is one the line — is rooted in the will to live. In any event, when Pi does come to the end of his journey, he has it.
"[A]stounding and beautiful…The book is a pleasure not only for the subtleties of its philosophy but also for its ingenious and surprising story. Martel is a confident, heartfelt artist, and his imagination is cared for in a writing style that is both unmistakable and marvelously reserved. The ending of Life of Pi…is a show of such sophisticated genius that I could scarcely keep my eyes in my head as I read it."
— The Vancouver Sun