By Yann Martel
(Vintage Canada, Paperback, 9780394281773, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 29, 1997
A modern-day Orlando -- edgy, funny and startlingly honest -- Self is the fictional autobiography of a young writer and traveller who finds his gender changed overnight.
Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. After studying philosophy at Trent University and while doing various odd jobs -- tree planting, dishwashing, working as a security guard -- he began to write. He is the prize-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, and of Self, a novel, both of them published internationally.
His latest book, Life of Pi, won the 2002 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Governor’s General Award and is an international bestseller. He has been living from his writing since the age of 27. He divides his time between yoga, writing and volunteering in a palliative care unit.
Yann Martel lives in Montreal.
"Let me tell you a secret: The name of the greatest living writer of the generation born in the sixties is Yann Martel." -- L'Humanité
"This is an exhilarating piece of fiction, as bold and original as anything I've read in a long time." -- Charles Foran, Montreal Gazette
"A powerful story, punctuated by humour and tragedy in much the way real life is. -- Like Rohinton Mistry and Michael Ondaatje, Martel is a brilliant storyteller." -- Vancouver Sun
"Superb -- Masterfully written. -- Martel has an almost otherworldly talent. -- He is a powerful writer and storyteller, almost a force of nature." -- Edmonton Journal
"Yann Martel wonderfully represents the child's universe as a seamless whole...A penetrating, funny, original and absolutely delightful exploration.... [Martel] is a natural and often brilliant essayist and expositor, with a knack for aphorism and a rich cultural and literary foundation." -- Globe and Mail
"So vigorous and confident and sure-footed...so compelling, that Self's education does end up being part of the reader's. Like all good educations, it is hard to forget, once absorbed." -- Toronto Star
"Engaging...There's some real insight here....Self is filled with things that sound a lot like the truth...now and again you encounter things that read so true, the sound they make resonates for hours, or even days. Self is still ringing in my ears." -- Hour Magazine
"Mesmerizing...Linguistic treats dance across the page, and the subject -- a young person's life -- careens between the remarkably realistic and the wildly imaginative.... Martel is a gifted writer: his language saunters and soars.... Martel addresses important issues and does so creatively and seriously. He deserves to be read." -- Calgary Herald