Title: ANIL'S GHOST - Scarce Fine Copy of The First...
Publisher: London, England: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2000
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 307 pages. Published in 2000. The author's fourth novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The first appearance of the title in the United Kingdom. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Michael Ondaatje's "Anil's Ghost". Although he has written about his native land, explicitly and obliquely, in earlier works, Ondaatje himself considers (and calls) this novel his "Sri Lanka" novel. An intimate and spellbinding story of what civil war can do to a country and its people, it is a literary mystery and a jigsaw puzzle of the highest quality that is written in the author's characteristically brilliant, richly layered, and emotionally resonant prose. "The novel explores that territory where the personal and the political intersect in the fulcrum of war. Its style is more straightforward, less densely poetical. While many of Ondaatje's literary trademarks are present (frequent shifts in time, hallucinatory imagery, the gradual interweaving of characters' pasts with the present), the prose is more accessible. This is not to say that the author has forgotten his poetic roots. Subtle, evocative images abound. 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). Part of the majestic and lyrical beauty of his fiction comes from the fact that Michael Ondaatje has a poetic sensibility and writes what Joseph Brodsky once called "poet's prose": "Her toes were 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" (Michael Ondaatje). An absolute "must-have" title for Michael Ondaatje collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Michael Ondaatje. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First British Edition/First Printing still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Booker Prize in 1992 for "The English Patient". One of the greatest writers of our time. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MICHAEL ONDAATJE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 074754865X. Bookseller Inventory # 16019
Synopsis: A novel by the Booker Prize-Winning author of "The English Patient". The result is a disturbing and timeless revelatory journey.
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
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