Running in the Family
by Michael Ondaatje
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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“For some hours, for some years in our lives, we see ourselves as remnants of previous generations that have been destroyedI think all our lives have been terribly well formed by what happened before us.”Twenty-five years after leaving his homeland, Sri Lanka for Ontario’s cold winters, a chaotic dream of tropical heat and dog barking, Michael Ondaatje returns home to return to childhood and family that he never fully understood.Together with his brothers and sisters and children, Ondaatje gathers rumours, anecdotes, poems, documents and memories to reconstruct this fragmentation of the representation of his family’s past, his destructive father’s alcoholism and the colors of the stories and secrets of the ancestors both unworthy and beloved throughout the centuries, Sri Lankans of society.In an exotic, paints an evocative portrait of the heat, fauna, sounds and silences of Sri Lanka’s landscape, Ondaatje combines lively reconstructions of a privileged, eccentric old generation with a very personal reconciliation journey, in which he explores his own ghosts, and the way his family is extraordinary, history continues to influence his life.
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