Michael Ondaatje (born September 12, 1943) is a Canadian author.
Born in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) of Dutch/Indian ancestry, in 1954 he moved to England with his mother. After relocating to Canada in 1962, he became a Canadian citizen. Ondaatje received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His style of fiction introduced in In the Skin of the Lion and mastered 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 childhood, Running in the Family, and his Governor General's Award winning book of poetry, 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 the Lion
- 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 Médicis, and Canada's Governor General's Award.
See also: List of other novelists, List of Canadian writers