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Publisher's Summary

In his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient - winner of the Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Award - Michael Ondaatje gives us Anil’s Ghost, a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing. 

The time is our own time. The place, Sri Lanka, the island nation off the southern tip of India, a country formerly known as Ceylon, which is steeped in centuries of cultural achievement and tradition - and forced into the late 20th century by the ravages of civil war and the consequences of a country divided against itself. 

Into this maelstrom steps a young woman, Anil Tissera, born in Sri Lanka, educated in the West, a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human-rights group to work with local officials to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. 

Bodies are discovered. Skeletons. And particularly one, nicknamed “Sailor.” What follows, in a novel vivid with character and event, is a story about love, about family, about loss, about the unknown enemy and the quest to unlock the hidden past - all propelled by a riveting mystery. 

Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka’s landscape and ancient civilization, Anil’s Ghost is a literary spellbinder - a timeless work of art and a revelatory journey.

©2001 Michael Ondaatje (P)2019 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

“Unquestionably Ondaatje’s finest work.…Read this book. Be changed.” (Globe and Mail)

“It may well be the capstone of his career.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)  

“An exquisitely imagined journey.” (Time)

What members say

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