Michael Ondaatjersquo;s Booker Prizendash;winning best seller lyrically portrays the convergence of four damaged lives in a bomb-riddled Italian villa in the last days of the war. Hana, the grieving nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the emotionally detached Indian sapper, Kipmdash;each is haunted in different ways by the riddle of the man they know only as the English patient, a nameless burn victim who lies swathed in bandages in an upstairs room. It is this manrsquo;s incandescent memoriesmdash;of the bleak North African desert, of explorersrsquo; caves and Bedouin tribesmen,of forbidden love, and of annihilating angermdash;that illuminate the story, and the consequences of the mysteries they reveal radiate outward in shock waves that leave all the characters forever changed.
A novel of great lyrical beauty and epic tragedy by acclaimed Sri Lankan Canadian author Michael Ondaatje, THE ENGLISH PATIENT won both the Canadian Governor General's Award and the Man Booker prize in 1992. During World War II, a Canadian nurse serving in an Italian villa becomes the caretaker of a mysterious patient whose body is horribly burned. As the patient slowly reveals his tragic story of romance, espionage, adultery, and loss, Hana finds herself becoming involved with two men in the village: Caravaggio, a British spy who was captured and horribly tortured, and a Sikh sapper named Kip, who attempts to rid the village of its many German bombs. Ondaatje weaves the four characters' tragic storylines together into a marvelous tapestry of heartbreaking richness, a bittersweet masterpiece of 20th-century fiction. In 1996, the novel was made into a major motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. Directed by Anthony Minghella, the film would win nine Academy Awards--one of the few adaptations to live up the power of the original work.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Literary, War + Military, General, Settings
- Everyman's Library
- October 4, 2011
- October 4, 2011
- Michael Ondaatje