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Best known for his novel The English Patient , Ondaatje wrote this 1982 memoir after returning to his native Ceylon. His experiences led to a "you can go home again" reflection on his family and country. "For the outsider, this memoir offers a poignant vision exotic in cultural particulars, familiar in intimate human feelings" ( LJ 11/15/82).
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Brightly coloured, sweet and painful, bloody-minded and otherworldly, [this book] achieves the status of legend.”
“Eloquent, oblique, witty, full of light and feeling.…Ondaatje’s knowledge of the fragility and luck of life is very clear. So, too, is the grace and originality of his prose.”
–The New Yorker
“Ondaatje has produced a remarkable book.…Shimmering through the haze of heat and memory is an impressionistic, sometimes surreal portrait of an exotic time and place now gone, a colonial paradise that had its own rhythms and imperatives.”
–Globe and Mail
“A beautiful, luscious book. Michael Ondaatje has depicted his extraordinary family, who delighted in masks and costumes and love affairs that ‘rainbowed over marriages’ in the kind of language that makes glory of their lives. He has gone on a poet’s journey to Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and the reader who travels with him enters a truly magical world.”
–Maxine Hong Kingston
“It sparkles with the intensity and vividness of its multifaceted tales of romance and intrigue.”
–Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A brilliant, charming, poetic, hyperbolic holiday of a book.…Ondaatje walks the line between fact and fiction with a delicately rendered delight.”
“…the brilliant and moving book he has written is original in every way that matters.”
–W. S. Merwin
“A beautiful, luscious book of discovery and remembrance.”
“With a prose style equal to the voluptuousness of [Ondaatje’s] subject and a sense of humor never too far away, Running in the Family is sheer reading pleasure.”
“It dazzles with its range of imagination, richness of language and the consistently involving changes of mood and tempo.”
“This is an intriguing, funny, dream-like book, impossible to put down.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
“…brief, vivid scenes, moments revived out of remote memories, pictures of the intensities lived by his passionate parents… amid the lush flora, the predatory fauna, and the old-fashioned life of the British colonies. This is great story-telling.…"
From the Hardcover edition.
For one thing, it should be noted that this memoir is not strictly nonfiction, as Ondaatje himself acknowledges near the end of the book. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Laura A. RIchardson
Where to start? This book reads like the writer is either heavily medicated or suffering from dementia.Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
It's an odd kind of memoir, about the author's trip back home to Sri Lanka as an adult to reconnect with his roots and research his family history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by WholeHearted
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje is part memoir, travelogue, and history the writer's family in Sri Lanka. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric Maroney
This book is well worth a read. Funny, entertaining, sincere and thoughtful. I wish I was running with this family.Published 3 months ago by Ally Chang
Beautiful and poetic! With recent travels to Sri Lanka, the book was a wonderful reminder of the island environment.Published 4 months ago by Vanessa
Read this while traveling in Sri Lanka. It gave me insight into the country and Michael Ondaatje's writing is always great.Published 4 months ago by Piz
Absolutely outstanding --- a literary, funny, insightful, honest but loving reflection . Will definitely be re-reading it.Published 5 months ago by Lani&David