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Anil's Ghostby Michael Ondaatje
Synopses & Reviews
With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Booker Prize-winning author Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.
Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past — a story propelled by a riveting mystery. Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka's landscape and ancient civilization, Anil's Ghost is a literary spellbinder — Michael Ondaatje's most powerful novel yet.
"It is virtually flawless, with impeccable regional details, startlingly original characters and a compelling literary plot that borders on the thriller. Ondaatje's stunning achievement is to produce an indelible novel of dangerous beauty." USA Today
"Powerful and resonant....Ondaatje's novel satisfies one of the most exalted purposes of fiction: to illuminate the human condition through pity and terror. It may well be the capstone of his career....Masterful." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"An exquisitely imagined journey through the hellish consequences of impassioned intentions....Anil's Ghost reflects not a god's eyes but something equally unknowable." Time
"Michael Ondaatje breaks the rules. He forces the novel to do things it isn't supposed to do and he gets away with it. His fiction plays an elusive and dazzling game of tag with a dreamlike other reality....Anil's Ghost is an impressive achievement. Like all of his books, it is a work of high moral and aesthetic seriousness, suffused with a deep affection for and understanding of human beings and compassion for their lot." Salon.com
"As he did in The English Patient, Mr. Ondaatje is able to commingle anguish and seductiveness in fierce, unexpected ways....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..." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Ondaatje's plea in this work, circuitous and beautifully told, is simple — a prerequisite of life is proof of existence." Bonnie Smothers, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Ondaatje's willingness to look human suffering in the face is one of his compelling virtues, and gives his dreamlike montages their stern depth." John Updike, The New Yorker
"Elegant prose and deft handling of character bring this tale of political and personal unrest to a stirring resolution." Vanity Fair
"A novel of exquisite refractions and angles: gorgeous but circumspect, trying to capture the essential truth by always looking first to its reflection." Boston Globe
"There is much to astonish, to disturb and to admire....Ondaatje's ability to create deeply moving fictions through indirection is a rare triumph: a poet in the skin of a novelist, he makes the mysteries of silence speak with the force of his words." The Guardian (London)
"A truly wondrous book. The layers of human history, the depth of the human body, the heartache of love and fratricide have rarely been conveyed with such dignity and translucence. I was enthralled as I have not been since The English Patient." Ariel Dorfman
Now in paperback, Anil's Ghost transports readers to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late 20th century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island.
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
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