Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient (2686 words)


The English Patient comprises two interwoven narratives set in the years 1930-1945. The earlier narrative concerns the love of the English patient (Count Ladislaus de Almásy, a Hungarian explorer of the Libyan deserts) and Katharine Clifton, the wife of another explorer. The later narrative concerns Hana, a twenty-year old Canadian who is nursing the English patient as he lies dying of burns received in a plane crash and grieving for her father and her lover (and father of her aborted child), both of whom have died in the war. Hana has a self-confessed father-complex about the English patient, but as the novel develops she comes to love Kirpal Singh, a British Army sapper. The novel is set in April 1945 in the Villa San Girolamo,…

Citation: Clark, Robert. "The English Patient". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=977, accessed 10 July 2020.]

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