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Michael Ondaatje Biography | Poet

Photo of Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje was born on the 12th of September in 1943, and he is still going strong after all these years. He is a Canadian novelist and poet who was originally from Sri Lanka. Many people are going to be familiar with his 1992 novel the English Patient, which managed to win the Booker Prize before it was adapted into the Oscar-winning 1996 film. He has also published no less than thirteen books of poetry.

The Educational Achievements of Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje first went to Dulwich Collge before becoming a citizen of Canada. In Canada, he attended both Bishop's University and Bishop's College School. Then, he managed to get a Bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto and a Master's degree from Queen's University. Michael Ondaatje certainly managed to have an extremely varied collegiate experience.

The Life and Family of Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje's Sri Lankan childhood managed to inspire some of his most famous works later in life. However, after that, he spent most of his life in varying Canadian provinces and is largely known as a Canadian poet and not specifically a Sri Lankan one. He has been married to Linda Spalding for decades now. She is a novelist and academic also, and they both edit the literary journal Brick, a Literary Journal together.

Michael Ondaatje has two children. He also has a rich philanthropist brother and a nephew who is a famous film director. Michael Ondaatje is part of a successful family in general. Michael Ondaatje is an academic who has taught at Glendon College, University of Western Ontario, and York University.

The Best Work of Michael Ondaatje

Even people who don't know the name Michael Ondaatje are going to know about the English Patient, which is a title that has been immortalized on film. The people who have read Michael Ondaatje's original 1992 novel will usually insist that the book was better. Michael Ondaatje's most famous collections of poetry are The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems 1973–1978, which won the Governor General's Award. Michael Ondaatje has published a total of thirteen poetry books. He also won the City of Toronto Book Award in 1988 for In the Skin of a Lion. That same year, Michael Ondaatje managed to become an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Michael Ondaatje's Influence on Poetry

Michael Ondaatje's diverse background helps him stand out, but his willingness to write about difficult and obscure topics has also certainly helped him use his vast literary talents. Michael Ondaatje has been able to write about love stories set in World War Two, the earliest settlers in Toronto, and his own Sri Lankan childhood experiences all in different works. 

Michael Ondaatje: Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes