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The English Patient

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The English Patient poster

The English Patient is a novel by Michael Ondaatje which deals with the gradually revealed histories of a critically burned man, his Canadian nurse, a thief, and a British Army sapper as they live out the end of World War II in an Italian monastery.

Contents

Novel

The English Patient is in part a sequel to Ondaatje's earlier work In the Skin of a Lion; the characters of Hana and Caravaggio reappear from the earlier novel.

One of the main characters, the burned man, is Count László de Almásy, a famous Hungarian researcher of the Sahara Desert, disciple of Herodotus, and discoverer of the Ain Doua prehistoric rock painting sites in the western Jebel Uweinat mountain.

In 1992, the novel won the Canadian Governor General's Award and in 1993, the Booker Prize for fiction. It has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Film

In 1996, Ondaatje's novel was made into a film by Anthony Minghella. Ondaatje worked closely with the filmmakers and has stated that he is happy with the film as an adaptation.

In the film, the character of Count de Almásy, played by Ralph Fiennes, is heavily fictionalised. A good factual overview is provided in the 2002 Saul Kelly book, The Hunt for Zerzura: The Lost Oases and the Desert War.

The motion picture also received much critical acclaim and was a major award winner as well as a box office success. It won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and the BAFTA Award for best picture.

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EnglishPatient.jpg
The English Patient

Production:

Running time: 160 min.

Primary cast

Awards

Won

Nominations

See also

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