News ≫ Michael Ondaatje, 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for Fiction   

Michael Ondaatje, 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for Fiction   

Jan 30, 2023
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 Poet, novelist, and editor Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka in 1943. He lived in England as a child, and when he was 18, he moved to Canada. He earned a BA from the University of Toronto and an MA from Queens University. He has received many awards for his work, including two Governor’s General Awards and the Booker Prize for his novel, “The English Patient” (1992).

 In 2018 Michael Ondaatje was among five contenders for the title of greatest-ever winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction awarded by the Los Angeles Times. Ondaatje is one of Canada’s most important contemporary writers and one of the country’s significant cultural exports.

 Michael Ondaatje is the author of more than 20 works of poetry and fiction, including The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Running in the Family, Coming through Slaughter, In the Skin of a Lion, and The English Patient. He is the recipient of the Man Booker Prize, The Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Médicis, the Governor General’s Award, and the Giller Prize. His work is known for complex narrative structures and musical prose that incorporates elements of myth, history, jazz, memoir, and other forms. 

 In addition to his literary writing, Ondaatje has been a vital force in “fostering new Canadian writing” with two decades of commitment to Coach House Press (around 1970–90) and his editorial credits on Canadian literary projects like the journal Brick, and the Long Poem Anthology (1979), among other.

 In the award-winning book “In Running in the Family” (1983), Ondaatje turns away from America and Canada to interrogate his life and family history by returning to Sri Lanka. Written shortly after visiting the country of his birth, the text, once more, blends different genres in a fragmentary collage of photographs, poems, and stories. 

 Ondaatje is also a filmmaker and creator of 3 documentary films in the 1970s. He currently lives in Canada and continues his writing, and his artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers.

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