Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje (Philip Michael Ondaatje) (ändät´chā), 1943–, Canadian writer, b. Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). Immigrating (1962) to Canada, he attended the Univ. of Toronto (B.A., 1965) and Queen's Univ., Ontario (M.A., 1967). Since 1971 he has been an English professor at Glendon College, York Univ., Toronto. His first published works were poems, noted for their mixture of fact and fiction, real and surreal. His Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970) blends poetry, prose, and visual materials into a compelling portrait of the American outlaw. Other poetry collections include The Dainty Monsters (1967), Rat Jelly (1973), The Cinnamon Peeler (1990), and Handwriting (1998). Ondaatje is best known for his novels, which also blend reality and imagination, exploring a variety of cultures and mingling present and past in richly evocative prose. The antithesis of linear narrative, his fiction is filled with incident and coincidence, often changing abruptly in time, style, and point of view. With his most celebrated novel, The English Patient (1992; film 1996), a tale of love and betrayal set in a ruined Italian villa during World War II, Ondaatje became the first Canadian to win the Booker Prize. His other novels are Coming through Slaughter (1976), In the Skin of a Lion (1987), Anil's Ghost (2000), Divisadero (2007), and The Cat's Table (2011). He also has written screenplays and edited anthologies and a literary journal.

See his memoir, Running in the Family (1982); studies by L. Mundwiler (1984), S. Solecki, ed. (1985), D. Barbour (1993), and E. Jewinski (1994).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Solos and Chorus: Michael Ondaatje's Jazz Politics/Poetics
Malcolm, Douglas.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 32, No. 3, September 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Textual Hauntings: Narrating History, Memory, and Silence in the English Patient
Novak, Amy.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Anil's Ghost and Terrorism's Time
Scanlan, Margaret.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Literature and Film as Modern Mythology
William K. Ferrell.
Praeger, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Finding Yourself in a Lost World: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje"
Asian American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Emmanuel S. Nelson.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Michael Ondaatje (1943-)" begins on p. 289
A Reader's Companion to the Short Story in English
Erin Fallon; R. C. Feddersen; James Kurtzleben; Maurice A. Lee; Susan Rochette-Crawley.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Michael Ondaatje (September 12, 1943-)" begins on p. 317
How Hyphenated Can You Get?: A Critique of Pure Ethnicity
Verhoeven, W. M.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 29, No. 3, September 1996
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Displacement and Self-Representation: Theorizing Contemporary Canadian Biotexts
Saul, Joanne.
Biography, Vol. 24, No. 1, Winter 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Borderlines: Autobiography and Fiction in Postmodern Life Writing
Gunnthórunn Gudmundsdóttir.
Rodopi, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Autobiography and Journeys between Cultures: Eva Hoffman, Michael Ondaatje, Kyoko Mori"
Postcolonial Postmortems: Crime Fiction from a Transcultural Perspective
Christine Matzke; Susanne Mühleisen.
Rodopi, 2006
Librarian’s tip: "Confession, Autopsy and the Postcolonial Postmortems of Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost" by Wendy Knepper begins on p. 35
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