Michael Ondaatje

Running in the Family

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'During certain hours, at certain years in our lives, we see ourselves as remnants from the earlier generations that were destroyed… I think all of our lives have been terribly shaped by what went on before us.'Twenty-five years after leaving his native Sri Lanka for the cool winters of Ontario, a chaotic dream of tropical heat and barking dogs pushes Michael Ondaatje to travel back home and revisit a childhood and a family he never fully understood. Along with his siblings and children, Ondaatje gathers rumours, anecdotes, poems, records and memories to piece together this fragmented portrayal of his family's past, his father's destructive alcoholism and the colourful stories and secrets of ancestors both disgraced and adored throughout centuries of Sri Lankan society.In an exotic, evocative portrait of the heat, wildlife, sounds and silences of the Sri Lankan landscape, Ondaatje combines vivid recreations of a privileged, eccentric older generation with a deeply personal reconciliatory journey in which he explores his own ghosts, and how his family's extraordinary history continues to influence his life.
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164 printed pages

Impressions

    ummiumarahshared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot

Quotes

    Ara Morahas quotedlast year
    Resthouses are an old tradition in Ceylon
    Ara Morahas quotedlast year
    So people usually knew when Mervyn Ondaatje boarded the train, with or without his army revolver
    Ara Morahas quotedlast year
    Noel and Doris, could hardly move without being used as part of Lalla’s daily theatre.

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