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Anil's Ghost

Michael Ondaatje's novel won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2000.

Michael Ondaatje

Anil Tissera, born in Sri Lanka but educated in England and the U.S., is sent by an international human rights group to participate in an investigation into suspected mass political murders in her homeland. Working with an archaeologist, she discovers a skeleton whose identity takes Anil on a fascinating journey that involves a riveting mystery.

What follows, in a novel rich with character, emotion, and incident, is a story about love and loss, about family, identity and the unknown enemy. And it is a quest to unlock the hidden past — like a handful of soil analyzed by an archaeologist, the story becomes more diffuse the farther we reach into history. (From Knopf Canada)

Michael Ondaatje was awarded the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2000, both for Anil's Ghost.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews 

From the book

"American movies, English books — remember how they all end?" Gamini asked that night. "The American or the Englishman gets on a plane and leaves. That's it. The camera leaves with him. He looks out of the window at Mombasa or Vietnam or Jakarta, someplace now he can look at through the clouds. The tired hero. A couple of words to the girl beside him. He's going home. So the war, to all purposes, is over. That's enough reality for the West. It's probably the history of the last two hundred years of Western political writing. Go home. Write a book. Hit the circuit."


From Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje ©2000. Published by Knopf Canada.

Author interviews

Part of Writers and Company 25th anniversary series 54:29

Other books by Michael Ondaatje