Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion

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Michael Ondaatje’s second epigraph to

In the Skin of a Lion

is a quotation from John Berger’s


Berger writes that “never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one” (iv). Reflecting this, Ondaatje’s Booker Prize nominated novel serves as a forum for the “real” histories of workers and migrants largely ignored in the official constructions of Canada’s twentieth-century historical conception of “nationhood”, using a mix of techniques and voices to present different versions of the past. In this endeavour real documents are “quoted” and real, but marginalised, histories “voiced”. However, even these “real” sources, photographs and documents, are “quoted” in fictionally altered forms or contexts.

In the Skin of a Lion uses fictional

3470 words

Citation: Bedggood, Daniel Findlay. "In the Skin of a Lion". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4490, accessed 15 July 2024.]

4490 In the Skin of a Lion 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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