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What do you get when you put a man and a tiger in a small boat, and set them adrift?
Well, in Yann Martel's case - a literary masterpiece, and the basis for his best-selling novel 'Life of Pi.'
It was nominated for the Governor General's Award, won Britain's coveted 'Man Booker Prize', and has been showered with praise from everyone from reviewers to President Obama to Margaret Atwood.
But what about 'Life Before Pi?' Yann's family is Quebecois, and his dad is a pretty famous French poet. But he was also a diplomat. So, Yann was born in Spain, moved around as a kid, and landed in Canada. He first caught the literary world's attention in '91 with a short story, 'The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios', and five years later, put out his first novel, 'Self'. Then in 2002, 'Life of Pi' - and worldwide fame.
Yann's used that fame to try to convince the Harper government how important the arts - and arts funding - are. Since 2007, he's sent Harper a book and a letter every two weeks, and compiled those letters in a book of his own. 'What Is Stephen Harper Reading?' But Yann's back to fiction now, and his new novel is 'Beatrice and Virgil.'