Monday, November 11, 2013

In the Skin of a Lion- Michael Ondaajte

            Michael Ondaatje, born September 12th, 1943, is a very successful novelist and poet who has been awarded prizes and acknowledgement for his many accomplishments. His novel, In the Skin of a Lion, is "a rare and exotic novel whose main landscape is Toronto in the 1920s and 1930s. Multi-textured and intricately woven, the novel blends real and invented histories with a moving love story...reflective and tender [the writing] leads us at once into the harsh world of labour..."(Ondaatje). Michael Ondaatje is a credible author of this novel. His novel was inspired by his own past as a Canadian immigrant. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he then moved to England in 1954. After relocating to Canada in 1962, he became a Canadian citizen and moved to Toronto. The real strength of this novel lies in the way it decentres ‘official history’, giving voice to the unheard (Writing bar, 2011). The hard working efforts from the immigrant tunnellers and bridge builders were not given the proper acknowledgement or appreciation in Toronto's history. This unfortunate event adds to the novel by thoroughly emphasizing the hard work from many immigrants, and how influential one person can be when reconstructing history (Writing bar, 2011).

1 comment:

  1. Riley, you have given some good information and made good use of quotations. What is meant by "decentring 'official history'"? How did his experiences as an immigrant to Canada shape him? What is the unfortunate event that you refer to?