The English Patient Criticism

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Although Michael Ondaatje had published several collections of poetry and novels prior to The English Patient, it is this novel that propelled him into worldwide fame as a writer. The English Patient was a bestseller in 1992, the year that it was published and received highly favorable reviews in the major North American newspapers. He was awarded the Booker Prize in 1992, sharing this prize for Best Novel with Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger. Ondaatje was the first Canadian to be awarded this prize.

Ondaatje was previously known as a poet, and the critics picked up on the influence of poetry on the narrative style of The English Patient. A review in MacLean found the poetic influence a strength of the novel. John Bemrose wrote:

Michael Ondaatje ... who began his writing career as a poet, has managed to recast the traditional novel in his own peculiar way, so that the measured...

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This section contains 269 words
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