The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

'English Patient' novelist Michael Ondaatje reads at UI April 14

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "English Patient" author Michael Ondaatje will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, in Buchanan Auditorium of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building on the campus of the University of Iowa. The reading, sponsored by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

A Booker-Prize winning novelist, memoirist and poet, Ondaatje is also the author of "In the Skin of a Lion," "Coming Through Slaughter," "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid," and the memoir "Running in the Family." Published collections of his poetry include "The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems," "Secular Love," "The Man With Seven Toes" and "There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems 1963-1978."

"The English Patient," a tale of love and death set in war-ravaged Italy, won the Booker Prize. The film version dominated the 1996 Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture.

Mirabella magazine called "The English Patient" a "narrative of astonishing elegance and power . . . one of the finest novels of recent years -- large, rich and profoundly wise."

The New York Times Book Review called the novel "A tale of many pleasures -- an intensely theatrical tour de force but grounded in Michael Ondaatje's strong feeling for distant times and places."

Born in Sri Lanka, where he lived until the age of 11 among his highly eccentric family of mixed Dutch, Sinhalese and Tamil ancestry, Ondaatje was educated in England, graduated from Canadian universities and has made his home in Toronto for a quarter of a decade.