Canadian poet and novelist, born in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), educated at the University of Toronto and at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. He first came to critical notice as a poet, with The Dainty Monsters (1967), The Man With Seven Toes (1969), Rat Jelly (1973), and There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do (1979). The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970) is a collage of poetry and prose and visual devices. Coming Through Slaughter (1976), a fictionalized life of the legendary jazz musician Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden (1876–1931), was followed by Running in the Family (1982), which draws on his family's Sri Lankan past. The English Patient (1992, joint winner of the Booker Prize), set at the end of the Second World War, was made into a successful film directed by Anthony Minghella. Anil's Ghost (2000) is set in present‐day Sri Lanka against the backdrop of civil war. Handwriting (1998) is a collection of poems.