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Anil’s Ghost

Rich with eccentric characters and captivating stories, and set against the exotic landscape of a colonial empire in decline, Running in the Family is Ondaatje’s unforgettable journey through memory and imagination to reclaim his past.


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Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of the civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka sent by an international human rights group as a forensic anthropologist to investigate the campaigns of organised slaughter engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past - a story driven by a riveting mystery.

'A truly wondrous book... I was as enthralled as I have not been since The English Patient' - Ariel Dorfman, author of Death and the Maiden

'This is why I read, this is why literature matters, this, in short, is IT!... By the closing pages Anil's Ghost has come as close to a holy book as a novel ever should' - Independent

'This work of "fiction" will endure as a history of these times showing us how we may face even the most extreme actions of our civilisation through wise, compassionate re-creation' - The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka

'It is Ondaatje's extraordinary achievement to use magic in order to make the blood of his own country real... Nowhere has he written more beautifully' - New York Times Book Review

'There is much to astonish, to disturb and to admire in this dense book... a rare triumph' - Guardian

Book Title

Anil's Ghost


Random House


Vintage Arrow


Fiction – General




196mm x 130mm x 20mm

Date Published

September 2011




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