September 8, 2012 · 10:00 AM
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With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal,and rescue illuminates this book like flashes of heat lightening.
In a brilliantly original novel, four people come together in a deserted Italian villa during the final moments of World War II: a young American nurse and her horribly burned English patient, an American soldier of fortune, and an Indian soldier in the British army. Their stories of the past and of the present weave a spellbinding tapestry of how lives are caught and changed by the circumstances of war.