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Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje (born 12 September 1943) is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist and poet of Colombo Chetty and Burgher origin. He is perhaps best known for his Booker Prize-winning novel, The English Patient, which was adapted into an Academy-Award-winning film.

He moved to England in 1954, and in 1962 moved to Canada where he has lived ever since. He was educated at the University of Toronto and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and began teaching at York University in Toronto in 1971. He published a volume of memoir, entitled Running in the Family, in 1983. His collections of poetry include The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left Handed Poems (1981), which won the Canadian Governor General's Award in 1971; The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems (1989); and Handwriting: Poems (1998). His first novel, Coming Through Slaughter (1976), is a fictional portrait of jazz musician Buddy Bolden. The English Patient (1992), set in Italy at the end of the Second World War, was joint winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction and was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1996. Anil's Ghost (2000), set in Sri Lanka, tells The Story of a young female anthropologist investigating war crimes for an international human rights group.

Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto with his wife, Linda Spalding, with whom he edits the literary journal Brick. His new novel is Divisadero (2007).

Books by Michael Ondaatje

A Year of Last Things


by (author) Michael Ondaatje


A novel

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Make Ink

A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking

by (author) Jason Logan
foreword by Michael Ondaatje

Luminous Ink

Writers on Writing in Canada

edited by Tessa McWatt, Rabindranath Maharaj & Dionne Brand
contributions by Margaret Atwood, Madeleine Thien, M.G. Vassanji, Lawrence Hill, Pascale Quiviger, Nino Ricci, Sheila Fischman, Heather O'Neill, Camilla Gibb, Eden Robinson, Lee Maracle, Rawi Hage, Michael Helm, Lisa Moore, Rita Wong, Hiromi Goto, George Elliott Clarke, Nicole Brossard, Judith Thompson, David Chariandy, Richard Van Camp, Marie-Hélène Poitras, Stephen Henighan, Greg Hollingshead, Michael Ondaatje & Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

The Essential Tom Marshall

by (author) Tom Marshall
selected by David Helwig & Michael Ondaatje

The Cat's Table

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Tay John

by (author) Howard O'Hagan
afterword by Michael Ondaatje


by (author) Michael Ondaatje

The English Patient

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

The Story

by (author) Michael Ondaatje
drawings by David Bolduc

The Conversations

Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Lost Classics

edited by Michael Ondaatje, Linda Spalding, Michael Redhill & Esta Spalding

Anil's Ghost

by (author) Michael Ondaatje


by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Coming Through Slaughter

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

In the Skin of a Lion

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Paterson Ewen

introduction by Michael Ondaatje
edited by Matthew Teitelbaum
contributions by Ron Graham & Eric Fischl

Elimination Dance Large Print

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

The Cinnamon Peeler

Selected Poems

by (author) Michael Ondaatje

Elimination Dance

by (author) Michael Ondaatje