Michael Ondaatje: Author Auteur

Michael Ondaatje (Divisadero, Knopf, 2007) performed a reading and answered questions at Wesleyan University the evening of November 5th, 2008, the day after Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was elected America's first African American President.  Upon stepping up to the microphone, Ondaatje smiled, paused, and said, "I have to say, it's a good day to be an American."   The audience of 200 responded loudly and enthusastically. He read from Handwriting, his last book of poetry.

...the first home of my life...

... who abandoned who, I wonder now...

He read from Running In The Family about his grandmother.

And from The English Patient:

At 2:03 in the morning... to make his ticking immortal brain tense into sleep... he awakes, sees her in the spray of the lamp... he knew the trick of quick sleep, against her...

Michael Ondaatje speaks at Wesleyan University

Later, when asked about why he put the poker scene into Divisadero, he responded simply that he always likes to include an illustration in each work.  "Some kind of N.C. Wyeth in my character."