New Ondaatje novel confirmed for this summer, billed as “most thrilling and moving” ever
Publisher McClelland and Stewart has confirmed what the Canadian literati were already buzzing about: Michael Ondaatje’s new novel will hit bookstores this August. The new book, titled The Cat’s Table, comes hot on the heels of his last novel, Divisadero. Well, hot on the heels in Ondaatje years. Divisadero came out in 2007, marking a four-year gap between that work and this summer’s release: not a lot of time for a writer whose novel output, handily summarized below, consists of five books over the past 35 years.
Though the novel’s various publishers around the world have so far been mum on the book’s subject matter, no one is afraid to heap vague but effusive praise upon The Cat’s Table. McClelland and Stewart publisher Ellen Seligman says the novel “is a surprise and a sheer delight – a brilliantly told story… perhaps Ondaatje’s most thrilling and moving novel to date,” while editor Sonny Mehta of Knopf Publishing Group uses such words as “wisdom” and “poignancy” to describe the work. Robin Robertson of Jonathan Cape, the book’s U.K. publisher, pulled no punches: “What a book it is! In my view, the best thing Ondaatje has done.”
High praise indeed for an author whose work has claimed nearly every literary prize this country (and many others) has to offer. We’ll have to wait until August to know exactly what the book is about, but knowing Ondaatje, it will likely include a sweeping narrative spanning continents and generations, populated with rich and nuanced characters, and all held together by a masterfully explored theme that leaves the reader weeping inconsolably yet also feeling strangely enlightened and fulfilled. But, you know, don’t expect too much.
• Latest Ondaatje novel to hit stores in August [Toronto Star]
• Michael Ondaatje to publish new novel, The Cat’s Table, in August [National Post]
• Latest Ondaatje novel confirmed for summer 2011 [Quill and Quire]