University of Pittsburgh
November 1, 2005

Author of The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje to Speak at Pitt Nov. 10

The film adaptation of The English Patient won nine Academy Awards in 1996.
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers will host author Michael Ondaatje, best known for the novel The English Patient (Knopf, 1992)-later made into an Academy Award-winning film- at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in David Lawrence Auditorium, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

From his childhood memoir, Running in the Family (Vintage, 1993) to his classic novel The English Patient, Ondaatje pulls his readers in with rich language and an engaging narrative style. In The English Patient, he explores and intersects the lives of four diverse people at the end of World War II.

Ondaatje's other works of fiction include Anil's Ghost (Knopf, 2000), In the Skin of the Lion (Vintage, 1997), The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Vintage, 1996), and Coming Through Slaughter (Vintage, 1996).

In 2000, Ondaatje was awarded the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Pix Medicis, the Governor General's Award, and the Giller Prize for Anil's Ghost. He also has won the Booker Prize, the British Commonwealth's highest honor in literature. Ondaatje's most recent work is The Conversations: Walter Murch & the Art of Editing Film (Knopf, 2002).

Born in Sri Lanka of Indian/Dutch ancestry, Ondaatje went to school in England and then moved to Canada. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and the Master of Arts degree from Queen's University in Kingston. He currently resides in Toronto with his wife, Linda Spalding. Together, they edit the literary journal Brick.

The 2005-2006 Contemporary Writers Series, which runs through April 5, is cosponsored by Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place and Pitt's Book Center, Department of Classics, University of Pittsburgh Press, and Creative Nonfiction Program.

For more information, call 412-624-6506 or visit