Yann Martel

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Yann Martel (born June 25, 1963) is a Spanish-born Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi.


Early life

Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain. As an adolescent he attended high school at Trinity College School, a boarding school in Port Hope, Ontario. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, and Canada. As an adult, Martel has spent time in Iran, Turkey and India. After studying philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Martel spent 13 months in India visiting temples, churches, mosques and zoos, and spent two years reading religious texts and castaway stories.[3] His first published fictional work, Seven Stories, appeared in 1993.


In 2001, he published Life of Pi, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2002.[4] Life of Pi was later chosen for the 2003 edition of CBC Radio's Canada Reads competition, where it was championed by author Nancy Lee. In addition, its French translation, Histoire de Pi, was included in the French version of the competition, Le combat des livres, in 2004, championed by singer Louise Forestier.

Martel spent a year in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from September 2003 as the public library's writer-in-residence. He collaborated with Omar Daniel, composer-in-residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, on a piece for piano, string quartet and bass. The composition, You Are Where You Are, is based on text written by Martel, which includes parts of cellphone conversations taken from moments in an ordinary day.

In November 2005, the University of Saskatchewan announced that Martel would be scholar-in-residence.[5] He continues to have an office at the University.

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