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From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.



About the Author

Michael Ondaatje

He was born to a Burgher family of Dutch-Tamil-Sinhalese-Portuguese origin. He moved to England with his mother in 1954. After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen. Ondaatje studied for a time at Bishops College School and Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, but moved to Toronto and received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. In 1970 he settled in Toronto. From 1971 to 1988 he taught English Literature at York University and Glendon College in Toronto. He and his wife, novelist and academic Linda Spalding, co-edit Brick, A Literary Journal, with Michael Redhill, Michael Helm, and Esta Spalding. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film. Ondaatje has, since the 1960s, also been involved with Toronto's influential Coach House Books, supporting the independent small press by working as a poetry editor. In 1988 Michael Ondaatje was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) and two years later became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has two children and is the brother of philanthropist, businessman, and author Christopher Ondaatje. In 1992 he received the Man Booker Prize for his winning novel adapted into an Academy-Award-winning film,



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