A poet and writer born in Sri Lanka, brought up in England who later relocated to Canada in 1962. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife, the writer Linda Spalding.
His work blends reality with fantasy in poetry and prose and is extraordinarily visual. His poetic work (The Collected Works of Billy the Kid 1981; The Cinnamon Peeler; Selected Poems 1989; Handwriting, 1998) is highly appreciated as is his work as an essayist and documentary writer. His novel The English Patient (1992), winner of the Booker Prize, was adapted by Anthony Minghella into a film which won 9 Oscars. His ensuing novels are Anil’s Ghost (2000) set in Sri Lanka and Divisadero (2007) which takes place in California and France. His books are published in Italy by Garzanti.
His latest book is The Cat’s Table (2012) which tells the story of a young boy’s sea voyage in the 1950’s from Sri Lanka to England. Besides the Booker Prize, he has won many other awards for fiction: the Irish Times International Prize, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Medicis, the Governor-General’s Award and the Giller Prize.