Friday, January 22, 2010

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje (2000)

If you liked The English Patient, you are going to LOVE Anil's Ghost (unless of course you love T-E-P for the love story, in which case, I might as well tell you right away that there is no real love story here).

Another book that took me into a time of upheaval in a country that I don't know very much about - Sri Lanka in the mid-1980's to early 1990's. Against a background of civil war between the current government, anti-government insurgents in the south and separatists in the north, we meet Anil Tissera who was born in Sri Lanka, but educated in England and America. Anil is a forsenic anthropologist - an occupation that I had no idea could be so fascinating, and so dangerous - who returns to her native country under the umbrella of a human rights organization to try to "unearth" the identities of masses of bodies hidden throughout the country during organized murder campaigns.

Anil and her Sri Lanka partners discover "Sailor" and we follow their heart-wrenching journey to discover who he was, how he died, and at whose hands.

A mystery, a character study, a portrait of a nation in turmoil, a poetic journey - Ondaatje is a master of his craft. An unforgettable novel - highly recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you think!