Literary and film buffs are in for a real treat. The Salt Lake City Main Library, in conjunction with the Salt Lake City Film Center, is hosting three events centered around author Michael Ondaatje. Best known for his novel The English Patient, Ondaatje crosses many genres and topics, from poetry to nonfiction. His latest novel, The Cat’s Table, is set to be published in the fall.
The English Patient not only earned the Booker Prize, but was made into a 1996 Oscar-winning film. Fans can prepare for Ondaatje’s visit by attending a screening of The English Patient on Sunday at 2 p.m. to revisit the adulterous love affair between Almásy and Katharine in the sands of North Africa set just before the Second World War. When the badly burned Almásy is cared for by a French-Canadian nurse, Hana, the two begin a romance that triggers Almásy’s memory of his true love, Katherine. Hana then has an affair with a Sikh soldier who can defuse bombs, leading to an intertwined story of romantic tension and explosive climax.
Ondaatje will entertain an audience at the Main Library on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. with a live reading of his published and upcoming works; come listen to this award-winning author set the scenes the way he intended. If the screening and/or reading leave you with burning questions for Ondaatje, you’re in luck. On Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m., he’ll be back for a lively conversation about the writing and making of The English Patient.
The English Patient screening @ Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8200, March 27, 2 p.m., free; Michael Ondaatje @ Salt Lake City Main Library, March 29-30, 7 p.m., free. SLCPL.org