9780330480772

Anil's Ghost

Ondaatje, Michael

ISBN 10: 0330480774 / 0-330-48077-4
ISBN 13: 9780330480772
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
Anil Tissera, a forensic anthropologist, has returned to Sri Lanka, a land steeped in culture and tradition, to investigate organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. This is a story of love, family, and identity, set in a country torn apart and ravaged by civil war.

Review:
In his Booker Prize-winning third novel, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje explored the nature of love and betrayal in wartime. His fourth, Anil's Ghost, is also set during a war, but unlike in World War II, the enemy is difficult to identify in the bloody sectarian upheaval that ripped Sri Lanka apart in the 1980s and '90s. The protagonist, Anil Tissera, a native Sri Lankan, left her homeland at 18 and returns to it 15 years later only as part of an international human rights fact-finding mission. In the intervening years she has become a forensic anthropologist--a career that has landed her in the killing fields of Central America, digging up the victims of Guatemala's dirty war. Now she's come to Sri Lanka on a similar quest. But as she soon learns, there are fundamental differences between her previous assignment and this one: The bodies turn up weekly now. The height of the terror was 'eighty-eight and 'eighty-nine, but of course it was going on long before that. Every side was killing and hiding the evidence. Every side. This is an unofficial war, no one wants to alienate the foreign powers. So it's secret gangs and squads. Not like Central America. The government was not the only one doing the killing. In such a situation, it's difficult to know who to trust. Anil's colleague is one Sarath Diyasena, a Sri Lankan archaeologist whose political affiliations, if any, are murky. Together they uncover evidence of a government-sponsored murder in the shape of a skeleton they nickname Sailor. But as Anil begins her investigation into the events surrounding Sailor's death, she finds herself caught in a web of politics, paranoia, and tragedy.

Like its predecessor, the novel explores that territory where the personal and the political intersect in the fulcrum of war. Its style, though, is more straightforward, less densely poetical. While many of Ondaatje's literary trademarks are present--frequent shifts in time, almost hallucinatory imagery, the gradual interweaving of characters' pasts with the present--the prose here is more accessible. This is not to say that the author has forgotten his poetic roots; subtle, evocative images abound. Consider, for example, this description of Anil at the end of the day, standing in a pool of water, "her toes among the white petals, her arms folded as she undressed the day, removing layers of events and incidents so they would no longer be within her." In Anil's Ghost Michael Ondaatje has crafted both a brutal examination of internecine warfare and an enduring meditation on identity, loyalty, and the unbreakable hold the past exerts over the present. --Alix Wilber

Review

Review:

"This is a wonderful book - unquestionably Ondaatje's finest work--a book that surpasses The English Patient in both depth of feeling and intellectual reach--. Anil's Ghost is the most remarkable of the many remarkable novels Michael Ondaatje has written." - The Globe and Mail


"A truly wondrous book. The layers of human history, the depth of the human body, the heartache of love and fratricide have rarely been conveyed with such dignity and translucence. I was enthralled as I have not been since The English Patient." - Ariel Dorfman


"Virtually flawless, with impeccable regional details, startlingly original characters, and a compelling literary plot that borders on the thriller. Ondaatje's stunning achievement is to produce an indelible novel of dangerous beauty." - USA Today


"Anil's Ghost is the most harrowing of Ondaatje's novels. It is also the toughest, most sincere and in some ways the best since Coming Through Slaughter--genuinely, eerily, almost inappropriately beautiful." - The Toronto Star


"It is Ondaatje's extraordinary achievement to use magic in order to make the blood of his own country real-- Nowhere has he written more beautifully." - The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

 

Anil's Ghost: Search Results

1.
Anil's Ghost (ISBN: 0330480774 / 0-330-48077-4)
Ondaatje, Michael
ISBN 10: 0330480774
ISBN 13: 9780330480772
Bookseller: Internet Bookshop UK Ltd. (Gloucestershire, GLS, United Kingdom)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 1

Book Description: 2001-05-04., 2001. Book Condition: New. Picador. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 320pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1748784

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