Join Yann Martel at York

Right: Yann Martel (photo by Danielle Schaub)

Awarding winning Canadian author Yann Martel will read from his best-selling novel Life of Pi at York on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30pm. This free, public reading will take place in York’s Stedman Lecture Hall “D”.

Martel’s reading is part of York’s fifth annual Canadian Writers in Person series, which gives students and the public alike an opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite Canadian authors.

“Martel is one of Canada’s most impressive literary talents,” said series organizer John Unrau, an English professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. “The Canadian Writers in Person series at York has garnered a reputation for showcasing some of this country’s best novelists and poets.”

Life of Pi (Knopf Canada, 2001) is the story of Pi Patel, who becomes shipwrecked when the cargo ship carrying his family from India to Canada sinks in the Pacific Ocean. Pi is cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to keep from being Richard Parker’s next meal.

Born in Spain in 1963, Martel won the Booker Prize in 2002 for Life of Pi, and his other works include The Facts Behind The Helsinki Roccamatios and Other Stories (1993) and Self: A Novel (1996). He has just ended a year as the Samuel Fischer-Gast Professor at the Free University of Berlin, and is currently writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library.

The Canadian Writers in Person series is sponsored by the Atkinson Master’s Office, the Atkinson School of Arts & Letters, and the Atkinson students’ and alumni associations, with the support of the Canada Council and a number of other benefactors.