Ondaatje, Michael 1943- (Philip Michael Ondaatje)

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Ondaatje, Michael 1943- (Philip Michael Ondaatje)


Born September 12, 1943, in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); immigrated to Canada, 1962; son of Philip Mervyn and Enid Doris Ondaatje; married Betty Kimbark, 1963 (marriage ended); married Kim Jones (separated); partner of Linda Spalding; children: Quintin, Griffin. Education: Attended St. Thomas College, Colombo, Ceylon, and Dulwich College, London, England; attended Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada, 1962-64; University of Toronto, B.A., 1965; Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, M.A., 1967. Hobbies and other interests: Hound breeding, hog breeding.


Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Office—Department of English, Glendon College, York University, 2275 Bayview Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M6, Canada. Agent—Ellen Levine, 15 E. 26th St., Ste. 1801, New York, NY 10010.


University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, instructor, 1967-71; Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, English faculty member, beginning 1970, currently professor; Coach House Press, Toronto, Ontario, editor, 1970-94. Visiting professor, University of Hawaii at Honolulu, 1979, and Brown University, 1990. Director of films, including Sons of Captain Poetry, 1970, Carry on Crime and Punishment, 1972, Royal Canadian Hounds, 1973, The Clinton Special, 1974, and Inventor of Dragland Hog Feeder, 1975.


Ralph Gustafson award, 1965; Epstein award, 1966; E.J. Pratt Medal, 1966; President's Medal, University of Western Ontario, 1967; Canada Council grants, 1968, 1977; Canadian Governor General's Award for Literature, 1971, for The Collected Poems of Billy the Kid, 1980, for There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do, 1992, for The English Patient, and 2000, for Anil's Ghost; Books in Canada First Novel Award, 1977, for Coming through Slaughter; Canadian Governor General's Award for Poetry, 1979; Canada-Australia Prize, 1980; Toronto Book Award, 1988; Booker Prize, British Book Trust, 1992, for The English Patient; Literary Lion Award, New York Public Library, 1993; Giller Prize, Prix Médicis, and Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, all 2000, and Irish Times Literature Prize, 2001, all for Anil's Ghost; American Cinema Editors' Robert Wise Award, 2003, for The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film; Booker Prize shortlist, 2007.



The Dainty Monsters, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1967.

The Man with Seven Toes, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1969.

The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left-handed Poems (also see below), Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1970, Berkley (New York, NY), 1975.

Rat Jelly, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1973.

Elimination Dance, Nairn Coldstream (Ilderton, Ontario, Canada), 1978, revised edition, Brick, 1980.

There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems, 1963-1978, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1979, published as Rat Jelly, and Other Poems, 1963-1978, Marion Boyars (London, England), 1980.

Secular Love, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1985.

All along the Mazinaw: Two Poems (broadside), Woodland Pattern (Milwaukee, WI), 1986.

Two Poems, Woodland Pattern (Milwaukee, WI), 1986.

The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems, Pan (London, England), 1989, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.

Handwriting, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998, Knopf (New York, NY), 1999.

Vintage Ondaatje, Vintage Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Story, House of Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.


Coming through Slaughter (also see below), Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1977.

In the Skin of a Lion (also see below), Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.

The English Patient, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.

Anil's Ghost, Knopf (New York, NY), 2000.

Divisadero, Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.


The Broken Ark (animal verse), illustrated by Tony Urquhart, Oberon (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1971, revised edition published as A Book of Beasts, 1979.

Personal Fictions: Stories by Munro, Wiebe, Thomas, and Blaise, Oxford University Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977.

The Long Poem Anthology, Coach House (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1979.

(With Russell Banks and David Young) Brushes with Greatness: An Anthology of Chance Encounters with Greatness, Coach House (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

(With Linda Spalding) The Brick Anthology, illustrated by David Bolduc, Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.

From Ink Lake: An Anthology of Canadian Short Stories, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

The Faber Book of Contemporary Canadian Short Stories, Faber (London, England), 1990.

(With others) Lost Classics, Knopf Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000, Anchor (New York, NY), 2001.

(And author of introduction) Mavis Gallant, Paris Stories, New York Review Books (New York, NY), 2002.


Leonard Cohen (literary criticism), McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1970.

The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (play; based on Ondaatje's poetry), produced in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 1973; produced in New York, NY, 1974; produced in London, England, 1984.

Claude Glass (literary criticism), Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1979.

Coming through Slaughter (based on Ondaatje's novel), first produced in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1980.

Tin Roof, Island (British Columbia, Canada), 1982.

Running in the Family (memoir), W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1982.

In the Skin of a Lion (based on Ondaatje's novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.

(With B.P. Nichol and George Bowering) An H in the Heart: A Reader, McClelland & Stewart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, Knopf (New York, NY), 2002.

Also author of introduction to The English Patient: A Screenplay, adapted by Anthony Minghella, Hyperion Miramax (New York, NY), 1996. Editor, Mongrel Broadsides; editor, with Linda Spalding, Brick (literary journal). Ondaatje's manuscripts are included in the National Archives, Ottawa, Canada, and the Metropolitan Toronto Library.


The English Patient was adapted as a motion picture, written and directed by Anthony Minghella, Miramax, 1996; Anil's Ghost was adapted as an audiobook read by Alan Cummings, Random House AudioBooks, 2000.


Canadian poet and novelist Michael Ondaatje dissolves the lines between prose and poetry through the breadth of his works in both genres. "Moving in and out of imagined landscape, portrait and documentary, anecdote or legend, Ondaatje writes for the eye and the ear simultaneously," according to Diane Wakoski in Contemporary Poets. Whether reshaping recollections of friends and family from his childhood in old Ceylon in Running in the Family, or retelling an American myth in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left-handed Poems, Ondaatje "focuses on the internal lives of his multigenerational characters and exhibits a fascination with extraordinary personality types," observed a Contemporary Literary Criticism essayist, utilizing a writing style that is "whimsical and imaginative … marked by vivid detail … startling juxtapositions, and a preoccupation with intense experiences." In addition to writing novels, plays, and poetry collections, Ondaatje has edited several books, including The Faber Book of Contemporary Canadian Short Stories, praised as a "landmark" by reviewer Christine Bold in the Times Literary Supplement for its representation of "Canadian voices accented by native, black, French, Caribbean, Indian, Japanese, and Anglo-Saxon origins."

Born in Sri Lanka and living in England by the time he was a teenager, Ondaatje emigrated from England to Canada at age eighteen. He was determined to make his mark as a poet, and from there gradually moved into fiction, as well. Running in the Family, a heartfelt memoir honoring his family and heritage, blends together family stories with poems, photographs, and personal anecdotes. As his family history follows a path leading from the genteel innocence of the Ceylonese privileged class as the sun set on the British Empire to the harsh glare of the modern age, so Ondaatje's narrative seeks the inner character of his father, a man of whom the author writes: "My loss was that I never spoke to him as an adult."

Ondaatje's poetry is seen by critics as continually changing, evolving as the author experiments with the shape and sound of words. Although his poetic forms may differ, his works focus on the myths that root deep in common cultural experience. As a poet, he recreates their intellectual expression in depicting the affinity between the art of legend and the world at large. "He cares more about the relationship between art and nature than any other poet since the Romantics," stated Liz Rosenberg in the New York Times Book Review, "and more than most contemporary poets care about any ideas at all."

New York Times Book Review contributor Adam Kirsch found the poems in Ondaatje's Handwriting to be "richly sensual images, which are drawn largely from the history, mythology, and landscape of India and China." "Handwriting takes one to Ondaatje's Sri Lankan past," explained Sen Sudeep in World Literature Today, "a past that is very much present in his life, one that informs and colors his broader palette, scope, and vision. The fact that he can present Sri Lanka realistically and unexotically lends a believable and even magical edge to his text. His observations are sharp and wry, but at the same time considered, wise, and pragmatic."

Reviewing Handwriting in Poetry, Henry Taylor wrote that Ondaatje's verses "have sometimes struck me as labored in their seriousness—easier to admire than to like. This new book, in fact, is a deep pleasure to read most of the time, once one has become accustomed to its fragmentary style. This style is singularly appropriate to the themes and subjects of the book, which arise from mixed heritage and the loss of cultural identity." Library Journal reviewer Barbara Hoffert called Ondaatje's poetry "deeply evocative and suffused—but never overburdened—with sensuous imagery."

"Concerned always to focus on the human, the private, and the ‘real’ over the theoretical and the ideological," in his novels and short fiction "Ondaatje examines the internal workings of characters who struggle against and burst through that which renders people passive," reported Diane Watson in Contemporary Novelists, "and which renders human experience programmatic and static." The novel In the Skin of a Lion focuses on a man raised in rural Canada who, at the age of twenty-one, comes to the growing city of Toronto and lives among the immigrants inhabiting its working-class neighborhoods. Physical actions and inner challenges define Ondaatje's characters as individuals, creators within their own lives, and give both purpose to their existence and redemption to their inner reality. In this work a historical epoch is seen as the struggle of the individual to break free of the confines of his culture rather than simply a collection of social and political goals. As Michael Hulse described In the Skin of a Lion in the Times Literary Supplement, it "maps high society and the sub culture of the underprivileged in Toronto in the 1920s and 1930s…. But it is also … about communication, about men ‘utterly alone’ who are waiting (in Ondaatje's terms) to break through a chrysalis."

In Coming through Slaughter, a novel well-grounded in the history of early-twentieth-century New Orleans, Ondaatje creates a possible life of the late jazz musician Buddy Bolden, who is remembered as a brilliant cornetist whose performances were never recorded due to a tragic mental collapse at an early age. Mixing interviews with those who remember Bolden, historical fact, and his richly imagined conception of the musician's inner thoughts on his way to madness, Ondaatje fashions what Watson termed a "fractured narrative … [tracing] the personal anarchy of … Bolden and the perspectives on him of those who knew him best."

One of Ondaatje's best-known novels, The English Patient tells the story of a Canadian nurse who stays behind in the bombed remains of a villa near the World War II battlefields of northern Italy to tend to an English soldier who has been severely burned. After the couple are joined by two other soldiers, relationships form that parallel, as Cressida Connolly noted in Spectator, "those of a small and faded Eden." Ranking the author among such contemporary novelists as Ian McEwan and Martin Amis, Connolly praised the poetic quality of Ondaatje's fiction. "The writing is so heady that you have to keep putting the book down between passages so as not to reel from the sheer force and beauty of it," the reviewer exclaimed, adding that "when I finished the book I felt as dazed as if I'd just awoken from a powerful dream."

Anil's Ghost is a novel set in the present that documents the nearly twenty-year Sri Lankan conflict that began in the 1980s and resulted in the deaths and disappearances of nearly twenty thousand. Anil is a native of Sri Lanka who studied medicine abroad, specializing in forensic pathology, and she has come home as part of a mission to examine the remains of victims to determine possible war crimes. Anil is assisted by Sarath, a government-selected archaeologist, and together they find four skeletons they name Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Sailor, the last of which Anil feels will provide the evidence they are seeking. "This narrow examination broadens to involve the wider conflict as Sri Lanka's history and present achieve a simultaneous, terrible maturity," wrote Rebecca J. Davies in Lancet. "The earth is oily with wasted blood. Severed heads sit atop stakes. Drivers are crucified on the roadside. Bodies succumb to frail fractures sustained in their dive from helicopters. Even babies and three-year-olds are not immune to the bullets. And yet amid this bloody chaos Ondaatje painstakingly captures the normality of interrupted lives."

New York Times Book Review contributor Janet Maslin compared Anil's Ghost to The English Patient, writing that it "is a novel more in name than in essence…. Ondaatje brings an oblique poetic sensibility to unraveling the mysteries at work here. Layers peel away from both Anil and Sarath, with a past full of ghosts for each of them and assorted vignettes and memories scattered across the book's fertile landscape." Maslin went on to say that "the book's real strengths lie in its profound sense of outrage, the shimmering intensity of its descriptive language, and the mysterious beauty of its geography, with so many discrete passages that present the artificer in Mr. Ondaatje so well." America contributor John Breslin noted that the novel "ends with three pages of acknowledgments to dozens of doctors, lawyers, civil rights workers, Asian scholars, and fellow poets, plus a bibliography that would make any researcher proud. A lot of homework and legwork have gone into this novel."

Divisadero, Ondaatje's 2007 novel, is divided into two distinct sections. "Although each tale is completely engaging on its own, it is through juxtaposition that their true beauty comes out," commented Elizabeth Wadell in the Quarterly Conversation. The first section of the story, set in the rugged farmland of Northern California during the 1970s, focuses on an extended family struggling to cope with volatile changes in a once peaceful household. Sixteen-year-old Anna's mother died in childbirth, as did the mother of her same-age adopted sister Claire. The two young women live with their father on the farm, along with Coop, a twenty-year-old man who, for all practical purposes, is their adopted brother. Coop also comes from a tragic background, as his own family was savagely killed by a deranged hired hand. Sexual tension begins to develop among Anna, Claire, and Coop, culminating in the beginnings of a physical relationship between Coop and Anna. When Anna's father discovers her and Coop having sex, he ferociously attacks the young man, nearly killing him. Worse, the distraught Anna attacks her own father in response. This unexpected descent into violence shatters the idyllic family and mars the remainder of their lives. Coop leaves the farm and descends into a seedy lifestyle, using his card-playing skills to scrape out a hardscrabble existence. Anna runs away from home, and later reappears as an earnest scholar in a French village, researching the life of author Jean Segura, who lived and died in the house she now occupies. Claire enters the legal profession, which results in a chance meeting with Coop years later. With the characters' whereabouts established, but their stories unresolved, the narrative then takes an abrupt turn to focus on the life of Segura in the years before World War I, who is shown to have trouble dealing with the sexual awakening of his own two difficult daughters.

Some reviewers expressed some dismay at the considerable differences between the three stories in the novel, with some at a loss to discern the connections between the two distinct narratives. The juxtaposition of the narratives "probably means something" though it's difficult to "motivate yourself to figure out what," commented Jennifer Reese in Entertainment Weekly. The switch to the third storyline about the French author Anna studies "kills the momentum of the first story, leaving us hanging and confused," asserted New Statesman reviewer Jasmine Gartner. For Barbara Hoffert, writing in Library Journal, "the book falls apart into lovely pieces that the reader has a hard time collecting."

In an interview on Weekend Edition Saturday, Ondaatje admitted that the novel's structure seems oblique, but pointed out that the second storyline is intended to provide a sense of closure to the earlier story of Anna, Claire, and Coop. Everything that Anna "doesn't say, everything that she feels, everything that has been unsaid about that relationship and unfinished—about the relationship with Coop and her sister, and her father as well, gets finish[ed] in … another story," Ondaatje remarked to interviewer Scott Simon. Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper observed that readers who feel any confusion by the segmentation of the narrative structure should persevere and give the novel serious thought, because that sense of segmentation "dissipates in the face of strong thematic connections between what are not really segments at all, but rather, layers to the story." Bookseller reviewer Joel Rickett expressed a critical observation that helps clarify, and justify, the presence of the novel's final section: "It is only on a careful rereading that you realize it is a mirror story to the first, and the characters, images, and objects all connect." Reflecting on the novel in the interview with Simon, Ondaatje said: "I think it's a story where each half reflects the other in some way and hopefully, deepens it."

In addition to his work as a novelist and poet, Ondaatje has also served as editor for several notable projects. Along with his partner, Linda Spalding, he is the editor of the literary journal Brick. From Ink Lake: An Anthology of Canadian Short Stories is a collection of fifty short stories by Canadian authors, spanning the time period from the 1930s to the late 1980s. Ondaatje's stated goal was to include stories that represent the "geographical, emotional, and literary range of the country." In this mission, "he has succeeded admirably," according to Sybil Steinberg in Publishers Weekly. The stories give readers an "idea of the vast breadth of Canada," from its cities to its majestic wilderness areas to the coastal maritimes, the extremes of weather and landscape, and the people who inhabit all these regions, Steinberg observed. The ethnic mix of Canada is represented by many of the authors, as is the ongoing tension between French and English-speaking areas of the country. Authors who contributed include Mordecai Richler, Bharati Mukherjee, Alistair MacLeod, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro. The tales in the anthology "evoke emotion and compel involvement," Steinberg remarked.

Lost Classics is a book project edited by Ondaatje and others from Brick. Here, seventy-three contributors, professional writers, novelists, poets, essayists, and playwrights, consider their lives as constant, voracious readers. The goal of their reminiscences is to remember, rediscover, and revive books and other written works that they love, but which have been lost through time, ignored, or forgotten by others. The contributors focus on obscure works and ephemera, including long out-of-print novels, half-remembered children's books, more obscure works by known talents, and even one-of-a-kind materials and writings from their youth. Booklist critic Ray Olson called the anthology "an inveterate reader's delight." In assessing the collection, Library Journal contributor Ron Ratliff remarked: "Every book lover will want to cuddle up with these magnificent recollections of lost classics."

In addition to poetry and fiction, Ondaatje's interest in filmmaking inspired the nonfiction work The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film. Highly praised by reviewers, The Conversations examines Murch's life and career as a three-time Oscar winner and collaborator with noted directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas at Zoetrope studios. The creative process is also discussed, as writer and film editor talk about the task of revealing hidden themes and patterns in existing creative works. As Ondaatje noted in an interview with a Maclean's contributor, editing—whether of film or one's written work—is "the only place where you're on your own. Where you can be one person and govern it. The only time you control making a movie is in the editing stage." In Booklist, Carlos Orellana praised The Conversations for permitting "readers a peek behind the curtain to reveal a man as mysterious as his art," while a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted: "Through [Murch's] … eyes, and Ondaatje's remarkably insightful questions and comments, readers see how intricate the process is, and understand Murch when he says, ‘The editor is the only one who has time to deal with the whole jigsaw. The director simply doesn't.’"



Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 14, 1980, Volume 29, 1984, Volume 51, 1989, Volume 76, 1993.

Contemporary Novelists, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991, pp. 710-711.

Contemporary Poets, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991, pp. 724-725.

Cooke, John, The Influence of Painting on Five Canadian Writers: Alice Munro, Hugh Hood, Timothy Findley, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje, Edwin Mellen (Lewiston, NY), 1996.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 60: Canadian Writers since 1960, Second Series, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1987.

Jewinski, Ed, Michael Ondaatje: Express Yourself Beautifully, ECW Press, 1994.

Ondaatje, Michael, Running in the Family, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1982.

Siemerling, Winfried, Discoveries of the Other: Alterity in the Work of Leonard Cohn, Hubert Aquin, Michael Ondaatje, and Nicole Brossard, University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

Solecki, Sam, editor, Spider Blues: Essays on Michael Ondaatje, Vehicule Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1985.


America, February 19, 2001, John Breslin, "War on Several Fronts," p. 25.

American Book Review, March, 1999, review of The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems, p. 23.

Ariel, April, 1997, Josef Pesch, "Post-Apocalyptic War Histories: Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient," p. 117.

Biography, spring, 2000, S. Leigh Matthews, "‘The Bright Bone of a Dream’: Drama, Performativity, Ritual, and Community in Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family," p. 352.

Booklist, February 15, 1995, Gilmary Speirs, "Michael Ondaatje Interview," p. 1104; March 1, 1999, Donna Seaman, review of Handwriting, p. 1145; March 15, 2000, Bonnie Smothers, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 1294; August, 2001, Ray Olson, review of Lost Classics, p. 2075; September 15, 2002, Carlos Orellana, review of The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, p. 192; April 1, 2007, Brad Hooper, review of Divisadero, p. 5; October 1, 2007, Annie McCormick, audiobook review of Divisadero, p. 73.

Bookseller, July 27, 2007, Joel Rickett, "The Model Patient: Michael Ondaatje Is Back to Entrance Readers," review of Divisadero, p. 23.

Canadian Literature, spring, 2002, Douglas Barbour, "Writing through Terror," p. 187.

Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2000, "An Island Paradise in the Flames of Terror," p. 17.

Economist, June 17, 2000, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 14.

Entertainment Weekly, June 1, 2007, Jennifer Reese, review of Divisadero, p. 71.

Essays on Canadian Writing, spring, 1999, review of The English Patient, p. 236.

Harper's, February, 2003, John Gregory Dunne, review of The Conversations, p. 69.

Houston Chronicle, July 1, 2007, Jim Barloon, "Novel Loses Its Verve; Two Tales in One: Sexy Start Gives Way to Lifeless Conclusion," review of Divisadero, p. 21.

Hudson Review, spring, 2001, Alan Davis, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 142.

Journal of Canadian Studies, summer, 2001, Dennis Duffy, "Furnishing the Pictures: Arthur S. Goss, Michael Ondaatje, and the Imag(in)ing of Toronto," p. 106.

Journal of Modern Literature, summer, 2000, William H. New, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 565.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of Divisadero.

Lancet, January 20, 2001, Rebecca J. Davies, "A Tale of the Sri Lankan Civil War," p. 241.

Library Journal, April 15, 1999, Barbara Hoffert, review of Handwriting, p. 100; May 15, 2000, Barbara Hoffert, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 126; June 1, 2001, Ron Ratliff, review of Lost Classics, p. 160; June 1, 2007, Barbara Hoffert, review of Divisadero, p. 111.

Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2000, Jonathan Levi, review of Anil's Ghost, p. C1.

Maclean's, April 10, 2000, John Bemrose, "Horror in Paradise: Michael Ondaatje Sifts through Sri Lanka's Strife," p. 78; September 9, 2002, interview with Michael Ondaatje, p. 40.

Mosaic, September, 1999, Douglas Malcolm, "Solos and Chorus: Michael Ondaatje's Jazz Politics/ Poetics," p. 131.

Nation, June 19, 2000, Tom LeClair, "The Sri Lankan Patients," p. 31.

New Criterion, May, 2000, Brooke Allen, "Meditations, Good & Bad," p. 63.

New Leader, May, 2000, Tova Reich, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 37.

New Statesman, October 8, 2007, Jasmine Gartner, "Family Snapshots," review of Divisadero, p. 59.

New Statesman & Society, March 19, 1999, Lavinia Greenlaw, review of Handwriting, p. 48.

New Yorker, May 15, 2000, John Updike, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 91.

New York Review of Books, November 2, 2000, John Bayley, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 44.

New York Times Book Review, April 24, 1977, review of Coming through Slaughter, p. 14; December 22, 1985, Liz Rosenberg, review of Secular Love, p. 22; April 11, 1999, Adam Kirsch, "Erotic, Exotic," p. 24; May 11, 2000, Janet Maslin, "Unearthing the Tragedies of Civil War in Sri Lanka"; May 14, 2000, Richard Eder, "A House Divided."

People, March 24, 1997, Lan N. Nguyen, "Author! Author!," profile of Michael Ondaatje, p. 41.

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 24, 2007, Carlin Romano, "From English Patient: Spoils of Success; Fulltime Writing Life;" July 3, 2007, Sandy Bauers, "Complexity of Ondaatje's New Novel a Driving Challenge," review of Divisadero; July 5, 2007, Patrick Kurp, "After a Slow Start, ‘Divisadero’ Is All Downhill."

Poetry, May, 2000, Henry Taylor, review of Handwriting, p. 96.

Prairie Schooner, spring, 2001, Constance Merritt, review of Handwriting, p. 182.

Publishers Weekly, October 19, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of From Ink Lake: An Anthology of Canadian Short Stories, p. 47; October 5, 1992, Beverly Slopen, "Michael Ondaatje: Transplanted from Ceylon to Canada, He Writes about ‘People Born in One Place Who Live in Another Place,’" profile of Michael Ondaatje, p. 48; October 19, 1992, "Britain's Booker Prize Goes to Ondaatje and Unsworth," p. 12; February 22, 1999, review of Handwriting, p. 88; March 20, 2000, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 70; July 3, 2000, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 24; August 12, 2002, review of The Conversations, p. 290; April 16, 2007, review of Divisadero, p. 28; July 30, 2007, review of Divisadero, p. 76.

Saturday Night, November, 1996, Derek Finkle, "A Vow of Silence," profile of Michael Ondaatje, p. 90; June, 1997, Valerie Feldner, review of The English Patient, p. 12.

School Library Journal, September, 2000, Pam Johnson, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 258.

Spectator, September 5, 1992, Cressida Connolly, review of The English Patient, p. 32; April 29, 2000, John de Falbe, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 29.

Time, May 1, 2000, Paul Gray, "Nailed Palms and the Eyes of Gods: Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost Is a Stark Successor to The English Patient," p. 75.

Time International, September 3, 2007, Aravind Adiga, "Bird Flight," review of Divisadero, p. 55.

Times Higher Education Supplement, Roger Crittenden, review of The Conversations, p. 27.

Times Literary Supplement, September 4, 1987, Michael Hulse, review of In the Skin of a Lion, p. 948; November 3, 1989, Julian Loose, review of The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left-handed Poems, p. 1217; October 19, 1990, Christine Bold, review of The Faber Book of Contemporary Canadian Short Stories, p. 1130; February 5, 1999, Michael O'Neill, review of Handwriting, p. 33.

Toronto Life, October 2003, "Interpretive Dance," p. 14.

Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1999, review of Handwriting, p. 102.

Vogue, May, 2000, John Powers, review of Anil's Ghost, p. 201.

Wall Street Journal, April 2, 1999, review of Handwriting, p. 6; May 12, 2000, Elizabeth Bukowski, review of Anil's Ghost, p. W8.

World Literature Today, spring, 1999, Sen Sudeep, review of Handwriting, p. 333.


BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (October 1, 2001), Ellen Kanner, "New Discoveries from the Author of The English Patient," interview with Michael Ondaatje.

Contemporary Writers,http://www.contemporarywriters.com/ (January 7, 2008), James Proctor, biography of Michael Ondaatje.

Quarterly Conversation,http://www.quarterlyconversation.com/ (January 7, 2008), Elizabeth Wadell, review of Divisadero.

Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (January 7, 2008), biography of Michael Ondaatje.


Talk of the Nation, December 26, 2002, Neal Conan, "Analysis: Lost or Forgotten Literary Classics," transcript of radio interview with Michael Ondaatje.

Weekend Edition Saturday, June 2, 2007, Scott Simon, "The Many Layers of Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero," transcript of radio interview with Michael Ondaatje.