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Noted Writer Michael Ondaatje Named Recipient of 2016 St. Louis Literary Award

Acclaimed writer Michael Ondaatje
Acclaimed writer Michael Ondaatje

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Busch Student Center - Wool Ballroom, 20 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103

Previous recipients of the Saint Louis University Library Associates annual award include Tennessee Williams and Joan Didion

Registration is recommended.

A Dessert and Drinks Reception follows the Award Ceremony at 8:30pm on the Ground Level Patio Area of the Busch Student Center. Cost $50.


ST. LOUIS (May 2, 2016) – The Saint Louis University Library Associates have announced the selection of acclaimed writer Michael Ondaatje as the 2016 St. Louis Literary Award. Michael Ondaatje is one of the world's foremost writers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje's work also encompasses poetry, memoir, and film. His transcendent novel The English Patient became a multiple Academy Award-winning film, including the best picture in 1997.

An award-winning novelist and poet, Ondaatje's works include The Cat's Table, Divisadero and In the Skin of a Lion. Ondaatje's collections of poetry include Secular Love, The Cinnamon Peeler and Handwriting. He has also made two documentary films, Sons of Captain Poetry and The Clinton Special.

Ondaatje is the recipient of several literary prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and the Irish Times International Prize for Fiction.

Philip Boehm, chair of the literary award selection committee, said the purpose of the St. Louis Literary Award is to recognize a living writer with a substantial body of work available in English who has enriched our literary heritage by deepening our insight into the human condition and expanding the scope of our compassion.

"Michael Ondaatje's exquisitely intense language stirs our senses, sharpens our intellect, and sparks our imagination." Boehm said. "He is a master of evoking places as well as people and of summoning the mysteries lurking with in each."

The award ceremony and conversation with the author is planned for Thursday, Oct. 6. Additional information on the time, location, program and registration will be made available on the Saint Louis University Library Associates website: Saint Louis University Library Associates.

Community Read: The English Patient

Free (registration required) and open to members of the SLU community and their guests

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 | 4:00-5:00 pm
Samuel Cupples House

SLU faculty and staff members will lead small-group discussions of Michael Ondaatje's best-known novel The English Patient at historic Samuel Cupples House. Refreshments will be provided. Participants receive a free copy of the book upon registration.

Please register at the Pius XII Memorial Library Circulation Desk. If you are unable to register in person, email or call Erica Lauriello ( / 314-977-3090).

"The Craft of Writing" with Michael Ondaatje

Free and Open to the Public

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | 3:30 pm
Pius XII Memorial Library, 2nd floor gallery

Featuring an interview with Michael Ondaatje by Joya Uraizee, Ph.D., followed by an audience Q&A.

Please register before September 30 by e-mailing or calling Erica Lauriello ( / 314-977-3090) with the number of faculty and student attendees.

This program will bring together faculty and students from area academic writing and literature programs for a unique opportunity to meet with Michael Ondaatje, who will receive the 2016 St. Louis Literary Award on Thursday, October 6 at 7 pm in the Wool Ballroom of the Busch Student Center.

About the St. Louis Literary Award

Established in 1967, the St. Louis Literary Award is presented annually by the Library Associates and has become one of the top literary prizes in the country. The award has recognized some of the most important writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including W. H. Auden, Saul Bellow, Joan Didion, James A. Michener, Joyce Carol Oates, Tennessee Williams, and Jeanette Winterson.

About the Saint Louis University Library Associates

One of the oldest literary and cultural organizations in St. Louis, the Saint Louis University Library Associates seeks to build a closer relationship between the University and the community and to promote an appreciation for the value of literature. The Library Associates work to enhance the visibility of the Saint Louis University Libraries and to support the development of their world-class collections and services. For more information on the Saint Louis University Library Associates, visit: Saint Louis University Library Associates.

For more information, please call 314-977-3100