Queen’s University Alumnus’ Novel Wins Golden Man Booker Prize

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“The English Patient”, a novel by Queen’s University alumnus Michael Ondaatje, was named the greatest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize at an event in London’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.

The Man Booker 50 Festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of the prestigious British literary prize with this special award that pitted the prize’s previous 51 winners in a public competition.

The English Patient” won the Booker Prize in 1992 as well as the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.

The novel was made into a 1996 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche –  along with Willem Dafoe, Colin Firth, and Kristin Scott Thomas – that went on to win nine Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards, and two Golden Globes.


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Michael Ondaatje

In a statement released by his publisher, Penguin Random House, Ondaatje said “I am honoured as well as very surprised to receive this award for The English Patient, as I was to be in the company of the other remarkable nominees. It feels the book was written so long ago! I would like to thank all who have supported me and been involved in my work over the years.”

After studying at Bishop’s University for three years, Michael Ondaatje attended the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. He then earned a Master of Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston in 1967.

For more information about Michael Ondaatje winning the Golden Man Booker Prize, check out this CBC report.

“The English Patient” movie trailer:


Photo: Andy Langbon (cc)