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 the second world war 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 sheet 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 secured 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.
'One of the most innovative and liberating writers of our time' Guardian 'Magnificent A wise and graceful book about history itself' Sunday Times 'The best piece of fiction in English I've read in years' Independent on Sunday 'Ondaatje has now written the extraordinary novel we have been awaiting from him: THE ENGLISH PATIENT is a masterpiece' Financial Times
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