“My next book - each one while I'm working on it - dances in my mind and thrills me at every turn. If it didn't, why would I write it?” – Yann Martel
Born in Spain on this date in 1963, Martel is now a Canadian citizen and perhaps best known for his multi-award winning novel, Life of Pi, the international phenomenon that has sold more than 12 million copies and been translated into 50 languages. The book spent more than a year on both the New York Times and The Globe and Mail bestseller lists and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie directed Ang Lee.
Martel started writing while studying at Canada’s Trent University and broke onto the writing scene with several successful short stories in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He credits the Canada Council for the Arts in fostering his success, awarding him two grants in the ‘90s that gave him time and resources to create many works, including Life of Pi.
Martel said he enjoys history and using it in his writings. “Most of us get our history through story,” he said. His most recent success is the 2016 novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, a tale of three characters in Portugal in three different time periods, who cope with love and loss each in their own way. He said he encourages writers, regardless of their genre choices, to first write what most interests them.
“Every book I've written has been a different attempt to understand something,” he said, “and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.”
Share A Writer’s Moment with a friend by clicking the g+1 button below.