Fathoming Private Woes in a Public Story --
A Study of Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost


Geetha Ganapathy-Doré

Université de Paris 13, France

Copyright © 2002 by Geetha Ganapathy-Doré, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. Copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the editors are notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.

  1. Eight years after his award-winning novel, The English Patient, which recorded the tremor of Western wisdom, Michael Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in his latest novel, Anil's Ghost. Unlike his earlier memoir, Running in the Family, which knit the fragmented memories of his separated parents into a whole, Anil's Ghost mourns the death of an ancient civilization whose artistic heritage is precious to Ondaatje in particular and to humanity in general. Plunging into the depths of history, art, language, life, death and truth, he comes back from his perilous experience with a shining piece of wisdom for our troubled times: "One is no worse and no better than one's enemy" (119).

  2. Fathoming seems to be the secret structural strategy that allows the narrator to endow the novel form with new dimensions to make it equal to the task of representing the complexity of the world it tries to depict. It is no coincidence that the novel opens with a miner's song, that one of the many protagonists of the novel, Ananda Udugama, is both a miner and an artist, and that the eponymous heroine, Anil Tissera, is a professional swimmer. People love water in Sri Lanka, in spite of the monsoon. The kings who built the great tanks knew that "water is a source of life and death", as Romesh Gunesekera, another chronicler of Sri Lanka, rightly points out in his novel, Reef.[1] The analogy between swimming and writing is explicit in Ondaatje's novel. Cullis, Anil's writer friend, "slips into the page as if it were water" (264). The images that the surface of the water reflects hide some deeper, darker world underneath. Ondaatje extends the metaphor to the act of reading as well in an interview granted to Dave Weich: "You trust that this is the good part of water, but don't want to sink. You want to get across" (Weich, "Civil War"). It is in his extraordinary attempt to awaken the reader to the frightening depth of meaning and the vertiginous height of truth connoted by the very geography of Sri Lanka that Ondaatje resembles and even surpasses Salman Rushdie's effort to deconstruct the West as Disorient. And unlike The English Patient where there is a conflict between the heroine Katharine's predilection for water and her lover Almasy's liking for the desert, here we are engulfed by, indeed even submerged in, the enigmatic and watery world of Sri Lanka right from the beginning.

  3. The key concept of the novel being "non-linearity" (262), its purpose seems to be to transform the omniscient gaze of the narrator into an erringly human one. This is achieved in a relatively short span of narrative time, because Anil, the forensic anthropologist, spends only seven weeks Sri Lanka for an Amnesty International investigation project (10). It is through her unbelieving yet compassionate gaze, for Anil was born in Sri Lanka but educated in England and America, that the reader fathoms the significance of events that have occurred before her arrival in Colombo, in Sri Lanka, and elsewhere.

  4. The title itself is a pointer to the atmosphere of murder and mystery that surrounds the plot. Its possessive adjective is misleading: an unsuspecting reader would take the title to mean 'the Ghost of Anil.' But only after finishing the novel would he or she realize that Anil does not give up her ghost. In one sense, 'Anil's Ghost' refers to the memory, and memories, of her archaeologist colleague Sarath Diyasena, which haunt her. When he is alive, Anil is not able to trust him completely. Yet when he is dead, she is not able to forget him because of the incomprehensible circumstances in which he dies. 'Anil's Ghost' refers to the areas of darkness in Sri Lanka's past and present history that keep perturbing her equanimity. "Some people let their ghosts die, some don't" (53) says Anil to Sarath once. As a forensic anthropologist, Anil has been taught to deal with decaying bodies and skeletons and claim her ownership over them when she is able to ascertain the hour of their death. The difficulty comes from the fact that paradoxically she has to deal with elusive ghosts now. Anil is obliged to leave Sri Lanka after her startling discovery that the government was indeed involved in organized murders. 'Anil's Ghost' may therefore also refer to the guilt hanging heavy on the conscience of people who have committed crimes as well as the readers because "they know that crimes have been committed" (54). In a manner reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved, the figure of the ghost symbolizes collective guilt.

  5. Finally, speaking from the point of view of identity, Anil herself is a ghost of her brother from whom she has bought her name and made it a part of her female self (136-137). The professor who teaches her anatomy in London tells Anil about the amygdala, a location in the brain "to house fearful memories" (134). One might wonder whether by talking about the dark aspects of Sri Lanka that frighten Anil, in a gesture recalling a neurosurgeon's scanning of the amygdala, the narrator has not all the while been trying to conjure up the brother who no longer inhabits the body that encases his name. After all, in some "19th-century novels, brothers and sisters in different cities could feel the same pains" (135). In an ironic reversal of ordinary circumstances, it is not Anil who ghostwrites her brother's script, but it is her brother's ghost which lends "flesh and bones" to the secret knowledge[2] and fears of Anil, who had chosen the language of science, not fiction, for her walk of life. At one point in the novel, the writer Cullis addresses Anil in the first person: "How to make a book, Anil. You asked me How" (264), making us see that he is both Anil's lover and a shadow of her brother (ex-Anil). It is worth while to remember here that the migratory trajectory from Ceylon to America by way of England of Ondaatje's sister Janet, mentioned in Running in the Family (172), resembles Anil's in the novel. Besides, Ondaatje has a writer sister, if we are to believe Ella Taylor, a columnist for Mirabella and The Atlantic Monthly's art and entertainment supplement; her 1994 interview with him informs us that "one of Ondaatje's sisters writes children's books in England" (Taylor, "Interview"). Ondaatje might have resorted to this form of fictional biography where the borderline between the subject and the object is blurred in order to avoid "the use of autobiography as a seductive tool of subjectivity,"[3] and his autobiographic collage technique is very much in line with the cubist aesthetics that he puts into practice in this novel and elsewhere. In any case, Anil's Ghost distinguishes itself by being human unlike the Holy Ghost, in other words, the official version of truth. Like Hamlet's ghost, it tells us that something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka.

  6. While Ondaatje is fond of confusing the reader's sense of time and place by changing his settings, making Anil "translate the time of a death into personal time" (13); by inserting frequent flashbacks, intertextual allusions and typological variations in the text, he is also particular about maintaining order among chaos. The traditional way of creating order is to establish a hierarchy in the orchestration of stories and characters -- the main story and the subplot, for instance, or the major and minor characters. Ondaatje, however, has asserted that he does not have recourse to preplanned structures and that he counts on improvisation.[4] The novelist is a "tumbler. If not then, a tinker" (264). The narrative logic is internal to the text he constructs. It is up to the reader to find the clues to make sense out of this apparently juxtaposed material, similar to the way Anil tries to solve the mystery of the burnt skeleton. The technique employed -- connecting a certain number of stories through places, persons, memories and objects -- reminds us of a string that is used to knot flowers into a garland.[5] Thus, the novel offers series of linkages that re-route linear notions of geography and chronology. Geneva connects Guatemala and Sri Lanka concerning human rights abuses. Sarath makes Anil encounter his mentor Palipana. Her memory of her father endears Anil to Dr. Perera. Anil's friend's Leaf's postcard links America with Sri Lanka. Further, Events echo each other, producing an eerie sense of déjà vu. The fate of the Buddhist statues in Shanxi is mirrored in the fate of those in Buduruvagala, the private war between Sarath and his brother Gamini in the public war between the rebels and the Government. The abduction of Linus Corea foreshadows the kidnapping of Gamini. The traditional mode of transmitting knowledge, as exemplified by Buddhist monks, is inverted by the Western way of imparting knowledge impersonally in colleges and the 'nowhereness' of the ship-turned-laboratory, Oronsay, by the rootedness of the Ekneligoda Walluwwa.[6] The picture of the young local faculty researcher Chitra, as against the image of Palipana's disciple and niece Lakma, is a study in contrast too.

  7. No story is more or less important than the other for the narrator, one is tempted to add. Like Gamini, who "loved never being at the centre while being perceptive of what was going on there" (221), the reader is constantly required to readjust focus and slip from level to level like a diver. What we have is a web of stories where the Western tragedy of Archilocus has its place as much as the Sinhalese history of Culavamsa. [7] In fact, the web extends extratextually as well. The bodies burnt beyond recognition that Anil has to examine and the word 'tinker' referred to in the text (37) connect The English Patient to Anil's Ghost and the earlier novel's Count Almasy to the writer Cullis. Very often, the women characters facilitate the interconnection of stories among themselves. At other times, words quoted and remembered -- like "Who killed Cherry Valence?" (63), " In diagnosing the vascular injury, a high amount of suspicion is necessary" (118), "The bone of choice would be the femur" and "One village can speak for many villages. One victim can speak for many victims" (176), (140) -- or familiar and remembered songs such as "The Good Ship Venus"(69), "Sleep come free me" (133) and "The air that I breathe" (251) act as mnemonics, just like the names chosen to label the bodies -- Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Soldier (51).

  8. Anil's Ghost is an aid to assist memory in remembering the ravages of human violence, be it in Vietnam, Korea, Kurdistan or Sri Lanka. Ondaatje does not seem to want to don the heavy cloak of moral commitment by writing a novel that takes sides for the Tamils or for the Sinhalese. Nevertheless, he has proved himself to be a responsible writer by rising above these quarrels to see the human tragedy . . . much like the Sri Lankan doctor Lakdasa in his narrative, who observes: "The problem up here is not the Tamil problem, it's the human problem" (245). This moral seriousness is in striking contrast to the flippant gesture of visiting foreign journalists whom the inhabitants of Sri Lanka are prompt to criticize (156). At the same time, Ondaatje seems to be only too aware of the holes in memory provoked by physical or moral degeneration, for he describes the slow onset of Alzheimer's disease in Anil's friend Leaf and the destruction of her memory wrought by that disease. Just as Leaf is fighting against the inexorable progress of her disease in her private life, people all over the world -- Human Rights Organizations in particular -- are fighting against the collective amnesia provoked by greed and maintained by gun and drug runners. Maintaining a proper level of memory performance requires a conscious effort not only on the part of people who suffer from amnesia but also on the part of the people who tend to them. Thus, when Leaf telephones Anil, she remembers to stimulate her memory by asking, "Who killed Cherry Valence?" (257). Similarly, remembering is a duty that the reader is supposed to share with the author. Some of the novel's pages are not numbered, interrupting the linearity of the reading time and perhaps imitating the human weakness to forget. The meticulous reader is obliged to go back and find out the page number. The message is Sri Lanka might look a faraway place from the armchairs of Canada or Europe, but if people pay attention, remember, and act, further decadence might be prevented. The banality of violence today might account for the prevalent indifference of our times, but inaction is honestly shocking, as indicated by the apparently simple question Anil puts to Sarath and by the poignancy of his one-word response:
    "What did you do?"

    "Nothing" (155)

  9. The novel obviously deals with the truths of otherness -- otherness not as duality, but as an ingredient of the self, philosophically speaking.[8] This is illustrated in Anil's Ghost by the process of naming an anonymous body. An Indian critic has rightly drawn a parallel between Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose and Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost[9] because the plot unfolds like a detective novel and because Ondaatje ventures into the field of human anthropology and cognitive science. Naming is a ceremony that takes place after the birth of a human being to insert him in the immediate circle of his family and the larger context of human society and history. What, then, lies behind the idea of naming the dead body? In a war-torn nation like Sri Lanka, naming a dead body is an act of political resistance and personal appeasement. The symbolic representation of the anonymous and decaying body helps sublimate its entry into formlessness. The onlooker is no longer petrified by guilt at the sight of a corpse and is able to proceed with the business of living.[10] This is what many people who have lost their loved ones are doing -- unburying and reburying the bodies to mourn now a dead son, now a brother or husband lost "while going for a bath or talking to a friend" (42). No amount of news reporting or name listing could translate the pathos of their private woes into words. Anil is persuaded that the dead body nicknamed Sailor was the "representative of all those lost voices. To give him a name would name the rest" 956). That is why, like a medieval knight, she gets totally engrossed in the quest for his name. So, painstakingly, Anil and Sarath find an artist to do what life has done and undone -- to rebuild the head. When Anil achieves this and with Sarath's help identifies the name of the sailor as Ruwan Kumara (the name means 'gem of a man'), she is not able to make Ruwan Kumara, the toddy tapper, the exemplary case in point, for her colleague Sarath, who had so far been supportive, turns his back on her in an attempt to save both of them. This bungling could have been brought about by Anil's own mistrust of Sarath and her misplaced trust in Dr. Perera, a staunch supporter of the government. The fact that the reader does not get to know the end of the story -- how the sailor's skeleton disappears and reappears, why Sarath dies, and what Anil finally decides to do -- proves the futility of identity struggles while challenging the nominalist theory[11] of the universal and the particular. Katugala, the president of Sri Lanka, and Sirissa, the unknown school sweeper and wife of Ananda, both come to dust.

  10. This brings us to the question of truth. While we (particularly those of us living in the West) may be accustomed to the monumental quality and the monolithic dimension of truth, in Sri Lanka truth has started "bouncing between gossip and vengeance" (54) like shuttlecock balls, or is "hidden by fear" (157), or slips across (295) like a wriggling eel. When in the Armour Auditorium, Sarath appears to be disloyal. However, when Anil recovers Sailor's body, she realizes that Sarath was loyal. The tension between being and appearing in a conflict-ridden society is a leitmotif in the novel. Was the man in the black coat a patient or the doctor? Was Sarath's mentor, the Buddhist Palipana, a minimalist ascetic as Sarath takes him to be or a depraved monk as Gamini suggests? Was Palipana's brother Narada killed by political activists or by his own novice? The reader can have but a rough idea of what the truth may be, but never knows what the truth is. Ondaatje's purpose is to unsettle the certainties the readers are comfortably moored in to give them a taste of what it is like to survive in Sri Lanka.

  11. Truth is also compromised by Orientalist historiography. Indeed, as a postcolonial writer, Ondaatje has a score to settle with Orientalists. The National Atlas of Sri Lanka (quoted in pages 30-40), which seems to be part of the colonial legacy, has seventy-three versions of the Island but not one mentions river names or human life. Even if Ondaatje quotes a native scholar trained in the West, Ananda Coomaraswamy,[12] as an authority on Sri Lanka, he does not appreciate the lack of sincere involvement in Sri Lankan questions on the part of Western scholars. As the novel explains sarcastically, "The 1970s had witnessed the beginning of a series of international conferences. Academics flew into Delhi, Colombo and Hong Kong for six days, told their best anecdotes, took the pulse of the ex-colony, and returned to London and Boston" (79). As a counterpoint to the typical European Orientalist, Ondaatje etches the character of the Buddhist monk and epigraphist Palipana,[13] who saw his country in "fathoms and colour" (79). Palipana translates the rock graffiti in Sigiriya and even discovers a linguistic subtext (81). Unfortunately, he becomes a victim of the myth of authenticity, because there is no positive evidence for the existence of these texts. The reader is left with the conundrum of finding out whether the proof of the text is in the text itself or in its availability for interpretation. In fact, Ondaatje's inclusion of Sinhala words such as "rakshabandhana", "makamkruka" and "Madanaraga"[14] as well as Spanish words such as "cubito", "omoplato" and "occipital," helps him build a multilingual subtext. Readers who dismiss them as mere stylistic details would be missing whole fields of meaning that they add to the text. The plurality of languages -- human language and the language of insects, the language of touch and the language of sound, the language of astrology and the language of anthropology -- transcribed in the text not only adds amazing depth to the signifying idiom but also suggests that true history is the polyvocal antithesis to the grands récits produced by Orientalism.

  12. Anil's Ghost thus deals with the question of writing and reading, albeit peripherally. The novel's aesthetic 'coup de maître' is the allusion to the Netramangala ceremony and the way the novel ends with the artist Ananda's performance of this ceremony. Netramangala is the ceremony during which the painter gives life to the image of the God. While his assistant holds a mirror, the painter turns his back to the statue and paints without looking directly at the statue's face. Only the mirror receives the direct image of the glance thus created. The eye painters of yore did it to be religiously correct because "no human eye can meet the Buddha's during the process of creation" (99). Perhaps it also helped them to be aesthetically efficient,[15] as the image reflected in the mirror corrected the focal length and gave them a sense of perspective, depth. Is Ondaatje's own narrative performance -- i.e., telling the tragedy of Sri Lanka not frontally but in an indirect fashion, with "a long distance gaze" (11) as he calls it -- motivated by ethical and aesthetic as well as political correctness? [16] Perhaps it is an act of love, like the visit that Anil pays to her Tamil ayah, Latha. Unlike the "American movies and English books which end with the American or the English man getting on a plane and leaving" (286), Ondaatje (like Anil) comes back to Sri Lanka at least metaphorically and lingers on. His novel serves the double purpose of mapping Sri Lanka and provincializing Europe.[17]

  13. The narrator in Anil's Ghost does not wish to resemble Buddha, because he allows the reader to see the process of creation. For example, Anil tells the writer Cullis that he can make a story out of their break-up in Borrego Springs (101). Indeed, the reader gets the story in page 224. Just as he is critical of a war-for-war's sake ideology, the narrator thinks that art for art's sake without any preoccupation about moral responsibility is frivolous. This belief motivates the account of the letter that Anil sends to John Boorman, director of the movie Point Blank. In it, she asks him where on the body the hero was shot because, to her as a forensic anthropologist, the film image does not appear convincing. Ondaatje's idea is to iroonically draw attention to the fact that the reader should not be content with identifying the parody of self-referentiality and using scientific truth as a touchstone for art. Instead of performing the post-mortem of a literary work, the reader should match the creative energy of the writer with his or her own in order to illuminate the revelation of artistic beauty and truth. The reader's role is to participate in the process of creation by accompanying the author and holdiing his or her receptive mind like a mirror, much like the artist's assistant in the Netramangala ceremony.

  14. More than the triumph of art, what the novel is preoccupied with is the re-assertion of life itself, which is the fountainhead of all art. Anil's Ghost takes us through many a death and two near-death experiences, Gunesena's and Ananda's. But we see life establishing its ascendancy over death, as Anil manages to tackle silent emergencies and Doctor Gamini operates to save what he could of the limbs and lives of human beings. Just as the ordinary knife with which Anil stabs the writer Cullis turns into a life-saving instrument in the hands of the surgeon, the death impulse gnawing human beings could be made harmless, if it could be tamed into creative energy. Ananda, in spite of his unbearable grief at the loss of his brave little wife, devotes his heart and soul to repairing and reconstructing the hundred-and-twenty-foot-high Buddha statue in Buduruvagala. Like Ananda, Ondaatje has reconstructed Sri Lanka as an artwork, true to Palipana's vision, in fathoms and colours, although the country that Aldous Huxley saw as a model for Utopia is in the grip of a "self-burying" mood (157). By so doing, he has completed the book that Sarath had planned to write about a place in the island that no longer existed, before death spirits him away. The name Ananda commemorates not only the scholar Ananda Coomaraswamy but also the joy of creativity, as the human sight that Ananda has given to the Buddha is filled with the beauty of Earth from the height of the scaffold:

    He could witness the smallest approach of a bird, every flick of its wing or a hundred-mile storm coming down off the mountains near Gonagola and skirting to the plains. He could feel each current of wind, every lattice-like green shadow created by cloud. (307).
    This sentence, which shows Ondaatje at the pinnacle of his figurative ability, proposes an integrated point of view as opposed to the well known third-person omniscience familiar to students of narratology; what matters here is not so much the power of seeing everything but rather the miracle of sight itself which embraces the near and the far, the small and the big, the still and the moving, earth and sky, water and wind, human beings, animals and plants, life and art in one perfect gaze.

    * * *

  15. Anil's Ghost is indeed a sequel to The English Patient in so far it demonstrates how to build anew from the ruins of the empire. The narrator's occasional shift to the collective "we" (225) reinforces the statement of the poet Robert Duncan quoted in page 203: "The drama of our time is the coming of all into one fate." In light of what happened recently to the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan's Bamian valley, the strong and truly prophetic message of Ondaatje's novel is that there is an urgent need for reconstruction in the world rather than deconstruction of discourses, art and memory. The exhilarating feeling of height and the vastness of vision that the reader experiences at the end of the book is a permanent cure for the loss of lives and culture in Afghanistan and elsewhere that the televisions of the world reported. Singlehandedly and ahead of time, Ondaatje has repaired the damage by making every one of us identify with the reconstructing artist.


  1. Cf Romesh Gunesekera's novel, Reef. London: Granta Books, 1994, pp. 94-95. Back

  2. Sarath's brother Gamini confesses to Anil his liaison with his sister-in-law. Unable to bear the tensions of betrayal, his sister-in-law commits suicide. Back

  3. See Kevin Patrick Mahoney's review, www.geocities.com/SoHo/Nook/1082/anils_ghost.html Back

  4. In an encounter with his public at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris on 17th September 2000. Back

  5. One of the Sanskrit literary forms is "mala" (garland) which is more or less equivalent to the anthology in the Western tradition. The Pali Buddhist texts use the form of "pitaka" (basket) meaning collection. Back

  6. The Oronsay was a passenger liner in the heydays of the Empire, stripped of its machinery and transformed into a hospital lab and moored in the northern end of Colombo Harbour. It is an island of confidentiality in the murky political waters of Sri Lanka. Ekneligoda Walluwwa is a sprawling family estate in the village where Anil and Sarath watch Ananda reconstruct the head -- a peripheral space compared to Colombo; Ekneligoda is the name of the village, and Walluwwa is the Sinhala word for the house. Back

  7. Culavamsa -- Chronicle of Sinhalese history, completing that of the Mahavamsa and written by different authors between 352 and 1815 AD. Back

  8. See Julia Kristeva's much acclaimed Etrangers à nous-mêmes. Paris: Fayard, 1988. Back

  9. Prasannarajan, S.. "Skull Sutra." India Today International dated June 12, 2000, p.47. Back

  10. Please refer to Julia Kristeva's introduction to the exhibition, Visions capitales, held in the Louvre Museum. Back

  11. Radhkrishnan, S. History of Philosophy Eastern and Western. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952, Volume 1. Back

  12. Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947), philosopher and art historian, was born in Colombo and died in New York. He wrote numerous books on the art of India and Sri Lanka, notable among which Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism (1916), The Dance of Shiva (1918) and Is Art a Superstition or a Way of Life? (1937). Back

  13. Palipana's character might have been based on Manjusri Thero, a Buddhist monk who lead the avant-garde painting group called Forty-Three. Similarly, Gamini is the first name of another Sri Lankan painter, Gamini Warnasooriya. Back

  14. "Rakshabandhana" is a wrist band tied by a sister on the wrist of her brother or some one she holds in brotherly affection. A "makamkruka" is an agitator and "Madanaraga" means sexual arousal. Back

  15. Western landscape painters used the Claudeglass for this purpose. Claudeglass incidentally is the title of a poem by Ondaatje. Back

  16. For a direct approach of the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, Jean Arasanayagam's short story collection, All is Burning. New Delhi: Penguin, 1995. Back

  17. See Dipesh Chakrabarty's Provincializing Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. According to him, "Provincializing Europe is not a project of shunning European thought. It is a project of globalizing such thought by exploring how it may be renewed both for and from the margins." (Cover blurb) Back

Works Cited

Arasanayam, Jean. All is Burning. New Delhi: Penguin, 1992.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda. Mirror of Gesture. Benares: Munshiram Mohanlal, 1997.

---. Yaksas: Essays in Water Cosmology. London: OUP, 1994.

Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1994.

Goonaratne, Yasmine. The Plesaures of Conquest. New Delhi: Penguin, 1995.

Gunesekera, Romesh. Reef. London: Granta books,1994.

Huxley, Aldous. Island, a Novel. New York: Harper and Brothers,1962.

Iyer, Pico. The Global Soul. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.

Kristeva, Julia. Etrangers à nous mêmes. Paris: Fayard, 1988.

Kristeva, Julia, et al. Visions capitales. Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux (Parti-pris), 1998.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Penguin, 1988.

Muller, Carl. Children of the Lion. New Delhi: Viking, 1997.

Ondaatje, Michael. Anil's Ghost. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.

---. The English Patient. London: Bloomsbury, 1992.

---, Handwriting. London: Picador, 2000.

---. Running in the Family. London: Picador, 1982.

Radhakrishnan, S.. History of Philosophy, Eastern and Western. London: George Allen and Unwin 1952.

Rushdie, Salman. The Ground Beneath Her Feet. London: Jonathan Cape, 1999.

Selvathurai, Shyam. Cinnamon Gardens. London: Anchor, 1998.

Taylor, Ella. "Interview with Michael Ondaatje, 1994." http://list.gatech.edu/archives/LCC2401D/old/0062.html

Weich, Dave. ""Michael Ondaatje's Cubist Civil War." http://www.powells.com/authors/Ondaatje.html

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