Anil’s Ghost

Lee Spinks

in Michael Ondaatje

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719066320
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703113 | DOI:
Anil’s Ghost

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter takes a look at Ondaatje's fourth novel, Anil's Ghost, which demonstrates the impact of the outbreak of the Sri Lankan civil war in July 1983. It emphasises that, while Running in the Family and Anil's Ghost are both set in Sri Lanka, the latter presents the descent of the country into catastrophic conflict. The chapter discusses the praise and controversy generated by this novel, which, it notes expresses a political unity of the difference between ‘insurrection’ and ‘terrorism’, as well as Ondaatje's representation of civil war as an expression of atavistic violence.

Keywords: Anil's Ghost; Sri Lanka; catastrophic conflict; controversy; political unity; insurrection; terrorism; atavistic violence

Chapter.  9530 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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