What began it all was the bright bone of a dream I could hardly hold onto. I was sleeping at a friend’s house. I saw my father, chaotic, surrounded by dogs, and all of them were screaming and barking into the tropical landscape. 

In the late 1970s, Ondaatje returned to Sri Lanka, his native island. As Ondaatje tells of his journey, he also recalls the history of his Dutch-Ceylonese family, with various vignettes and deeper stories as well. Once again, Ondaatje has woven two things into one: a travel narrative and a family memoir. And once again, his writing is at his best when he writes about Sri Lanka.

A great thing about Running in the Family is the descriptions of Sri Lanka: not only Ondaatje’s own, but of various explorers and famous people who lived or stopped there, such as Pablo Neruda. I was very gripped by the story of his family, and I’d say that this was one of my favorite books by him so far. Though The Cat’s Table and Anil’s Ghost were set or talked about Sri Lanka a little bit, this one was really about Sri Lanka.

Read Running in the Family:

  • if you like memoirs
  • if you like Michael Ondaatje
  • if you are interested in Sri Lanka

203 pages.

 
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!
Advertisements