Michael Ondaatje Wins The Golden Booker, Congratulations!

margaretcook_leavesofgrass15

  • Michael Ondaatje’s bestselling novel The English Patient has been named the best winner of the Booker prize of the last 50 years.

The Golden Booker was held this year to mark a half-century of the prize. A panel of judges read all 52 former winners of the award, with each assigned a decade from the Booker’s history. … The English Patient was novelist Kamila Shamsie’s selection from the 1990s … The five books were then put to a public vote.”

“Not for a second do I believe this is the best book on the list …I suspect and know more than anyone that perhaps The English Patient is still cloudy, with errors in pacing,” said Michael Ondaatje.

  • I saw the movie first, and loved it. Then read the book, and loved it. To me it’s one of the rare cases when you can love both: the book and its screen adaptation.

Four years ago I wrote this wordle inspired by The English Patient:

Cave of Swimmers

What did she care about transgression–
Silhouetted against the orange desert sun–
When I threw myself upon her altar?

What was the demimonde of others
When my entire grand universe
Pulsated at the base of her throat?

When the ancient rites blew away maps
When the fiery Africa became a gray area
What did we care about death?

For each time a candle is lit
In the asylum of the cave
The swimmers are reborn.

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

P.S. Though the poem obviously has nothing to do with the current events, the word “cave” is synonymous with Thailand right now. God bless the rescuers. Praying for the complete healing of everyone involved, and for the soul of the diver who gave up his life saving others.

Image credit: Illustrations for a Rare 1913 Edition of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ by English Artist Margaret C. Cook, via brainpickings.

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