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Free Study Guide for Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Summary

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Yann Martel - BIOGRAPHY


Yann Martel is a Canadian author who was born in Spain on June 25th, 1963. His parents were there while Martelís father was on a scholarship to complete his doctorate. Martelís family traveled a lot because his father was a teacher and a diplomat. Martel therefore grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario, and Mexico.


He attended Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario from 1979 until his graduation two years later. He continued on and studied philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. While beginning his writing career, Martel took various jobs such as tree planting, dish washing, and working as a security guard.

He has been living off his writing since the age of 27. Yann Martel currently lives in Montreal. In addition to writing, he practices yoga and volunteers at a palliative care unit.

As an adult, Martel has traveled to Iran, Turkey and India. To write Life of Pi, he spent six months in India visiting zoos, temples, mosques, and churches. He interviewed the director of the Trivandrum Zoo. To create his main character, Pi, Martel immersed himself in the Indian culture. He then returned to Canada to research Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, as well as animal psychology and disaster/castaway stories. The subsequent writing of Life of Pi took two more years.

Works by Yann Martel include:

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatio (short stories, 1993)
Self (novel, 1996)
Life of Pi (novel, 2001)

Life of Pi won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction 2001, the Man Booker Prize 2002, CBC Radioís Canada Reads competition 2003, and the French version won the 2004 Le Combat de Livres.


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