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The Writing Lives Series An Evening with Poet and Novelist Michael Ondaatje

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:15pm - 8:15pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus The Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium

As part of the Writing Lives Series, the Heyman Center for the Humanities presents an evening with poet and novelist Michael Ondaatjeauthor of the Booker Prize winning The English Patient. Ondaatje will read from his work and a Q&A will follow.

Ondaatje is one of the world's foremost writers--his artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatjes work also encompasses poetry, memoir, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. His transcendent novel The English Patient, explores the stories of people forgotten by history by intersecting four diverse lives at the end of World War II. This bestselling novel was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.

Ondaatje himself is an interesting intersection of cultures. Born in Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon, of Indian/Dutch ancestry, he went to school in England, and then moved to Canada. He is now a Canadian citizen. From the memoir of his childhood, Running in the Family, to his Governor-Generals Award-winning book of poetry, Theres a Trick With a Knife Im Learning To Do, to his classic novel, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje casts a spell over his readers. And having won the British Commonwealths highest honor, the Booker Prize, he has taken his rightful place as a contemporary literary treasure.

He is the author of four collections of poetry including The Cinnamon Peeler and most recently, Handwriting. His works of fiction include In the Skin of a Lion, The English Patient, Anil's Ghost, Divisadero. and The Cats Table. Ondaatjes work of nonfiction is The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, which unites his love of literature and passion for the art of filmmaking.

For further information regarding this event, please contact Heyman Center for the Humanities by sending email to heymancenter@columbia.edu or by calling 212-854-8443.
Categories: Arts: Reading/Talk