Michael Ondaatje - Poets, Birthday and Personal Life

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Michael Ondaatje's Personal Details

Michael Ondaatje is a Canadian novelist and poet whose best known work is the Booker Prize-winning novel, ‘The English Patient’

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 12, 1943
NationalityCanadian
FamousPoets, University Of Toronto, Writers, Poets, Novelists
SpousesLinda Spalding
SiblingsChristopher Ondaatje, Gillian Ondaatje
Known asPhilip Michael Ondaatje, Ondaatje, Michael, Kip
Universities
  • University Of Toronto
  • 1967 - Queen's University
  • 1965 - University of Toronto
  • Bishop's University
  • Dulwich College
  • Bishop's College School
Notable Alumnis
  • University Of Toronto
Birth PlaceColombo
GenderMale
FatherMervyn Ondaatje
MotherDoris Gratiaen
Sun SignVirgo
Born inColombo
Famous asCanadian poet

// Famous Poets

Michael Ondaatje's photo

Who is Michael Ondaatje?

Michael Ondaatje is a Canadian novelist and poet whose best known work is the Booker Prize-winning novel, ‘The English Patient’. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to England as a teenager before finally settling in Canada. Determined to make a mark as a poet from an early age, he started his writing career alongside his teaching profession, establishing himself as a poet before turning to fictional as well as autobiographical works. His works in poetry and fiction are infused with sensual images, rich language and a deeply metaphorical bent. He has published 13 books of poetry and six novels in his literary career and has been able to achieve a distinct name for himself in the world of literature. One of Canada’s most highly regarded writers, he is known for his writing that blurs the line between prose and poetry, past and present, image and intellect, and thought and feeling. He expresses the internal struggles of his characters using a poetic writing style that depends upon association, startling imagery and intense language. His 1992 novel ‘The English Patient’ is regarded as the most successful and well-crafted work of his career which was also adapted into an Academy Award winning motion picture. Deemed as a literary genius, he is one of Canada's most important contemporary writers and a prominent figure in the world of literature

// Famous Alumni of University Of Toronto

Childhood & Early Life

Michael Ondaatje was born on September 12, 1943, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Mervyn Ondaatje, and his wife, Doris Gratiaen. He has an elder brother, Christopher Ondaatje, who went on to become a successful entrepreneur.

After receiving his initial education at St. Thomas' College in Colombo, he and his mother moved to England in 1954, where he resumed his education at Dulwich College in London.

From 1962 to 1964, he studied at the Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada. In 1965, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, and went on to complete his M.A. from Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, in 1967.

Career

Michael Ondaatje started his career as a teacher at the University of Western Ontario, London, in 1967. In 1971, he became a member of the Department of English at Glendon College, York University, Toronto.

In 1967, he published his first collection of poetry titled ‘The Dainty Monsters’, a series of lyrics that associate everyday life with mythology.

In 1976, he emerged as a novelist with his book ‘Coming Through Slaughter’. It is a novel about the New Orleans jazz musician Buddy Bolden’s descent into insanity.

His other famous works include: ‘Running in the Family’ (1982)—his memoirs about life in Ceylon — and ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ (1987)—a novel about the clash between the rich and poor in early 20th-century Toronto.

His 1984 poetry collection titled ‘Secular Love’ contains poetry about the breakup of his marriage. His other lyrical works include ‘The Cinnamon Peeler’ (1989) and ‘Handwriting: Poems’ (1998).

In 2000, he published his novel titled ‘Anil’s Ghost’, which has a backdrop of Sri Lanka amid the political violence of the 1980s and 1990s. His more recent works as a novelist include ‘Divisadero’ (2007) and ‘The Cat’s Table’ (2011).

Aside from writing, he has also contributed towards short movies and plays. He is also an editor, and has influenced and shaped numerous Canadian authors.

Major Works

One of his most celebrated works is the 1970 collection titled ‘The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left-Handed Poems’. It is an assortment of poems, prose, photographs, and even comic books, which reflects on the nature of heroism and violence.

Michael Ondaatje Ondaatje's best known work is his 1992 novel ‘The English Patient’, which won him the Booker Prize and was later adapted into an Academy Award winning film. The book is set in Italy at the end of the Second World War, and narrates an epic tale of the physical and emotional damage inflicted by war.

Awards & Achievements

In 1966, he received the prestigious ‘E. J. Pratt Medal’ and the ‘Epstein Award’.

In 1967, he was awarded the President's Medal by the ‘University of Western Ontario’.

In 1971, he won the ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada) for his poem ‘The Collected Works of Billy the Kid’.

In 1980, he was presented with the ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada) for his poetry collection ‘There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do’.

In 1988, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC). In 1990, he was named a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1992, he was awarded the distinguished ‘Booker Prize for Fiction’ for his acclaimed novel ‘The English Patient’. The same year, he also received the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction (Canada) for the aforementioned novel.

In 2000, he won the ‘Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize’, ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada), and the ‘Giller Prize’ (Canada) for his novel ‘Anil's Ghost’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Michael Ondaatje is married to Linda Spalding, a novelist and academic, and the couple has two children.

// Famous Novelists

Michael Ondaatje awards

YearNameAward

Other

Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts - 1984
Governor General's Award for English-language fiction 2007-2000-1992
Governor General's Award for English-language poetry or drama 1979-1970.
Man Booker Prize - 1992
Scotiabank Giller Prize - 2000
Prix Médicis étrange - 2000

Michael Ondaatje biography timelines

  • // 12th Sep 1943
    Michael Ondaatje was born on September 12, 1943, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Mervyn Ondaatje, and his wife, Doris Gratiaen. He has an elder brother, Christopher Ondaatje, who went on to become a successful entrepreneur.
  • // 1954
    After receiving his initial education at St. Thomas' College in Colombo, he and his mother moved to England in 1954, where he resumed his education at Dulwich College in London.
  • // 1962 To 1965
    From 1962 to 1964, he studied at the Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada. In 1965, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, and went on to complete his M.A. from Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, in 1967.
  • // 1966
    In 1966, he received the prestigious ‘E. J. Pratt Medal’ and the ‘Epstein Award’.
  • // 1967 To 1971
    Michael Ondaatje started his career as a teacher at the University of Western Ontario, London, in 1967. In 1971, he became a member of the Department of English at Glendon College, York University, Toronto.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, he published his first collection of poetry titled ‘The Dainty Monsters’, a series of lyrics that associate everyday life with mythology.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, he was awarded the President's Medal by the ‘University of Western Ontario’.
  • // 1970
    One of his most celebrated works is the 1970 collection titled ‘The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left-Handed Poems’. It is an assortment of poems, prose, photographs, and even comic books, which reflects on the nature of heroism and violence.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, he won the ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada) for his poem ‘The Collected Works of Billy the Kid’.
  • // 1976
    In 1976, he emerged as a novelist with his book ‘Coming Through Slaughter’. It is a novel about the New Orleans jazz musician Buddy Bolden’s descent into insanity.
  • // 1980
    In 1980, he was presented with the ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada) for his poetry collection ‘There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do’.
  • // 1982 To 1987
    His other famous works include: ‘Running in the Family’ (1982)—his memoirs about life in Ceylon — and ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ (1987)—a novel about the clash between the rich and poor in early 20th-century Toronto.
  • // 1984 To 1998
    His 1984 poetry collection titled ‘Secular Love’ contains poetry about the breakup of his marriage. His other lyrical works include ‘The Cinnamon Peeler’ (1989) and ‘Handwriting: Poems’ (1998).
  • // 1988 To 1990
    In 1988, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC). In 1990, he was named a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • // 1992
    Michael Ondaatje Ondaatje's best known work is his 1992 novel ‘The English Patient’, which won him the Booker Prize and was later adapted into an Academy Award winning film. The book is set in Italy at the end of the Second World War, and narrates an epic tale of the physical and emotional damage inflicted by war.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, he was awarded the distinguished ‘Booker Prize for Fiction’ for his acclaimed novel ‘The English Patient’. The same year, he also received the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction (Canada) for the aforementioned novel.
  • // 2000 To 2011
    In 2000, he published his novel titled ‘Anil’s Ghost’, which has a backdrop of Sri Lanka amid the political violence of the 1980s and 1990s. His more recent works as a novelist include ‘Divisadero’ (2007) and ‘The Cat’s Table’ (2011).
  • // 2000
    In 2000, he won the ‘Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize’, ‘Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction’ (Canada), and the ‘Giller Prize’ (Canada) for his novel ‘Anil's Ghost’.

// Famous Writers

Michael Ondaatje's FAQ

  • What is Michael Ondaatje birthday?

    Michael Ondaatje was born at 1943-09-12

  • Where is Michael Ondaatje's birth place?

    Michael Ondaatje was born in Colombo

  • What is Michael Ondaatje nationalities?

    Michael Ondaatje's nationalities is Canadian

  • Who is Michael Ondaatje spouses?

    Michael Ondaatje's spouses is Linda Spalding

  • Who is Michael Ondaatje siblings?

    Michael Ondaatje's siblings is Christopher Ondaatje, Gillian Ondaatje

  • What was Michael Ondaatje universities?

    Michael Ondaatje studied at University Of Toronto, 1967 - Queen's University, 1965 - University of Toronto, Bishop's University, Dulwich College, Bishop's College School

  • What was Michael Ondaatje notable alumnis?

    Michael Ondaatje's notable alumnis is University Of Toronto

  • Who is Michael Ondaatje's father?

    Michael Ondaatje's father is Mervyn Ondaatje

  • Who is Michael Ondaatje's mother?

    Michael Ondaatje's mother is Doris Gratiaen

  • What is Michael Ondaatje's sun sign?

    Michael Ondaatje is Virgo

  • How famous is Michael Ondaatje?

    Michael Ondaatje is famouse as Canadian poet