Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient
tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as World War II ends. The exhausted nurse, Hana; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burn victim who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. In lyrical prose informed by a poetic consciousness, Michael Ondaatje
weaves these characters together, pulls them tight, then unravels the threads with unsettling acumen.
A book that binds readers of great literature, The English Patient garnered the Booker Prize for author Ondaatje. The poet and novelist has also written In the Skin of a Lion, Coming Through Slaughter and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid; two collections of poems, The Cinnamon Peeler and There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do; and a memoir, Running in the Family.
“The English Patient
by Michael Ondaatje wears the triple crown: it is profound, beautiful and heart-quickening.”
“There are books that change the shape of literature.…The English Patient
is such a book.”
–Books in Canada
“A magic carpet ride of a novel that soars across worlds and times.…A rare and spellbinding net of dreams.”
–Pico Iyer, Time
“An exotic, consuming, and richly inspired novel of passion.”