Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is an iconic Canadian writer.
Michael Ondaatje is shown at the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala in a 2011 file photo. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Michael Ondaatje is a Canadian literary icon. His novels and poetry have earned international acclaim, and he was the first Canadian ever to win the Man Booker Prize — in 1992, for the wartime story The English Patient. Born in Sri Lanka and educated in England, Ondaatje moved to Canada when he was 18 to attend university.

Ondaatje began his writing career in 1967 as a poet, winning two Governor General's Awards for poetry before turning to fiction. Following the success of The English Patient, he went on to win the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award and France's prestigious Prix Medicis for his novel Anil's Ghost

Books by Michael Ondaatje

Interviews with Michael Ondaatje

The Canadian literary icon joined Eleanor Wachtel onstage at the Rialto Theatre in Montreal. His new novel, Warlight, is being hailed as a masterpiece. 53:25
Michael Ondaatje on his atmospheric new novel, which is set in London, England, just after the Second World War. 15:51
In this conversation from 1998, Eleanor talks to Canadian literary master Michael Ondaatje - author of "The English Patient" - about "Handwriting," a collection of poems about loss, landscape and the power of history in Sri Lanka. 52:27


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