Michael Ondaatje

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Philip Michael Ondaatje, OC (pronounced /ɒnˈdɑːtʃiː/) (born 12 September 1943) is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist and poet of Colombo Chetty and Burgher origin. He is perhaps best known for his Booker Prize-winning novel, The English Patient, which was adapted into an Academy-Award-winning film.


Life and work

Michael Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and moved to England with his mother in 1954. He attended Dulwich College - Alma Mater of literary luminaries such as P. G. Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler.[1] After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. He studied for a time at Bishop's College School and Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, but moved to Toronto, where he received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. He then began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. In 1970, he settled in Toronto and, from 1971 to 1988, taught English Literature there at York University and Glendon College.

Ondaatje and his wife, novelist and academic Linda Spalding, co-edit Brick, A Literary Journal, with Michael Redhill, Michael Helm, and Esta Spalding.

His style of fiction was introduced in Coming Through Slaughter (1976) and mastered in The English Patient (1992). He creates a narrative by exploring many interconnected snapshots in minute detail.

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