Yann Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain, on June 25, 1963. His parents, both Canadian, served in the Canadian Foreign Services; consequently, the family traveled widely during Martel’s childhood. He studied philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, graduating in 1985. Martel worked a number of odd jobs to support himself while writing fiction. His first book, a collection of short stories called The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, was published in 1993. His first novel, Self, followed in 1996. Like “the author” who narrates Life of Pi, Martel did not achieve much commercial or critical success with either of his earlier books. Life of Pi, on the other hand, became a bestseller upon publication in 2001. It has been translated into more than forty languages and has won several prestigious awards, including the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize, and the French Le Combat de Livres. The film version directed by Ang Lee premiered in 2012, garnering eleven Academy Award nominations and winning in four categories, including Best Director.
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