Michael Ondaatje Biography | Author of To a Sad Daughter

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Michael Ondaatje was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), in 1943. Located off the southern tip of India and sometimes called India's "teardrop" because of its shape, this small island has been home to much conflict between various religious, ethnic, and political factions. Ondaatje's family was a member of Ceylon's wealthy colonial society who distanced themselves as much as possible from the civil strife but often created their own combat in the form of drunkenness and raucous parties. His mother performed part-time as a radical dancer, and his father was an alcoholic tea and rubber plantation superintendent. Eventually, his mother had enough of the father's drinking and outrageous behavior—he reportedly liked to board trains and run the aisles waving a gun and spouting "revolutionary" slogans—and the couple divorced. When Michael was 11, he moved to London with his mother, and, at 19, he moved to Canada, began his...

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This section contains 487 words
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Poetry for Students
To a Sad Daughter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.