Michael Ondaatje

Air Dates: April 14-16, 2012

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This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Michael Ondaatje, award-winning author of “The English Patient” and “The Cat's Table.” He won the Booker Prize for his novel “The English Patient” which was adapted into a film that won 9 Academy Awards.

“The Collected Works of Billy the Kid” won the Governor General's Award, and has been adapted for the stage and produced in theatres around the world. Ondaatje has also published a non-fiction book, “The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film,” which won American Cinema Editors Awards, as well as awards for best book on the moving image.

Ondaatje discusses his new book “The Cat’s Table,” told from the point-of view of an 11 year old boy describing his adventures on a ship journey between Sri Lanka and England in the 1950s. No one on board is who they seem to be and a marvelous murder mystery is revealed, full of many surprises. Ondaatje explores various worlds –the old New Mexico of Billy the Kid, the brilliant art of film editing with Walter Murch, the deserts of Africa, and the mysteries a child discovers on a voyage by sea, while always examining the creativity of artists and writers who reflect our world like facets in a jewel.

QUOTES -- Michael Ondaatje: “It is a discovery of a story when I write a book, a case of inching ahead on each page and discovering what is beyond in the darkness; beyond what you are writing.”

“I am curious in what I am writing, curiosity leads me. I don’t begin a book knowing everything about the book. I begin knowing very little about the location or the place or the people. So if it is about mapmakers and deserts I am inhaling all of this universe of that craft...”