With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.
The place is modern-day Sri Lanka, the island nation formerly known as Ceylon, off the southern tip of India. It is a country steeped in centuries of cultural achievement and tradition, and forced into the late 20th century by the ravages of civil war and the consequences of a country divided against itself. Into this maelstrom steps a young woman, Anil Tissera, born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human-rights group to work with local officials to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island.
Bodies are discovered. Skeletons. And particularly one, nicknamed "Sailor". What follows is a story about love, family, and identity, about the unknown enemy and the quest to unlock the hidden past - all propelled by a riveting mystery.
2000 Winner of Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award: Fiction"The beauty in this novel is the lyricism Ondaatje interjects into even mundane situations." (
Book)"Ondaatje's writing is stunningly lyrical, at once dreamy and detailed." (
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