Yann Martel


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Yann Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain, in 1963, of Canadian parents who were doing graduate studies. Later they both joined the Canadian Foreign Service and he grew up in Costa Rica, France, Spain and Mexico, in addition to Canada. He continued to travel widely as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India, but is now based mainly in Montreal. He obtained a degree in Philosophy from Trent University in Ontario, then worked variously as a tree planter, dishwasher and security guard before taking up writing full-time at the age of 27.

His first book, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, was published in 1993. This was followed by his first novel, Self (1996), a tale of sexual identity, orientation and Orlando-like transformation.

In 2002 Yann Martel came to public attention when he won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his highly acclaimed, best-selling second novel, Life of Pi (2002), available in Arabic, an epic survival story with an overarching religious theme, which will eventually be published in over 40 countries and territories, with film rights optioned by Fox studios.

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