Michael Ondaatje (born September 12, 1943) is a Canadian author.
Born in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) of Dutch-Tamil-Singhalese origin, in 1954 he moved to England with his mother. His brother Christopher Ondaatje is a noted figure and philanthropist in the United Kingdom.
After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. Ondaatje received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. In the mid-1960s he settled in Toronto, from 1971 to 1983 he taught at York University and since then at Glendon College in Toronto.
His style of fiction introduced in The English Patient is non-linear. He creates a narrative by exploring many interconnected snapshots in great detail.
Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film. Besides his memoir of his Sri Lankan childhood, There's a Trick With a Knife he is known for four works of fiction:
* The English Patient -- winner of the Booker Prize, the Canada Australia Prize, and the Canada Governor General's Award and later made into a motion picture, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.
* In the Skin Of a Lion -- a fictional story about early immigrant settlers in Toronto.
* Coming Through Slaughter -- a fictional story of New Orleans, Louisiana about 1900 very loosely based on jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden. Winner of the 1977 Books in Canada First Novel Award
* Anil's Ghost -- winner of the 2000 Giller Prize, the Prix M�dicis, and Canada's Governor General's Award.