The English Patient
- Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient wins prestigious Golden Man Booker Prize
- 75 facts you might not know about Michael Ondaatje
With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of the Second World War. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of lightning. (From Vintage Canada)
The English Patient won the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1992.
Every four days she washes his black body, beginning at the destroyed feet. She wets a washcloth and holding it above his ankles squeezes the water onto him, looking up as he murmurs, seeing his smile. Above the shins the burns are worst. Beyond purple. Bone.
She has nursed him for months and she knows the body well, the penis sleeping like a sea horse, the thin tight hips. Hipbones of Christ, she thinks. He is her despairing saint. He lies flat on his back, no pillow, looking up at the foliage painted onto the ceiling, its canopy of branches, and above that, blue sky.
From The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje ©1992. Published by Vintage Canada.