Tag Archive > Michael Ondaatje

The Cat’s Table

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The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje, book reviewMichael Ondaatje (author of “The English Patient”), has a distinctively unique style to his writing. His literary voice could best be described as poetic and fluid that is also highly accessible. This comes through in all his writing, giving his work a deceptively simplistic feel, while remaining evocatively beautiful. However, he also likes to surprise his readers in the way he constructs his books, and each one is a bit different from his others. For instance, his last two novels, “Anil’s Ghost” and “Divisadero”, are almost conventionally structured. But others of his works, his latest novel included, are put together more like series of vignettes with lines of disjointed dialogue or poetry, not all of which follow a direct timeline. While this may sound like it could be confusing, Ondaatje’s artistry is in that the reader never feels like they aren’t totally sure of when and where the action is taking place. And this he does with the language alone, without any superfluous background information or details.


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Running in the Family

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Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje, book reviewMichael Ondaatje, author of “The English Patient,” was born in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). In 1954, at the age of 11, he left for England and in 1962 he moved to Canada. Only as an adult did Ondaatje go back to visit the island of his birth, which he called the “pendant off the ear of India.” While there, he investigated his family history through the places and people still there. This is his account of these visits.

Sounds boring, doesn’t it?

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, if the stories that Michael Ondaatje tells in Running in the Family weren’t true, this would have been an amazingly beautiful book of fiction.


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