The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

Set in the 1920’s and 1930’s this novel dramatises the construction of Toronto. The novel is haunted by the building of one bridge, how it was designed and planned and the deaths and accidents that occurred during the slow progress. Ondaatje manages to combine a sense of mystery in the spaces between the words with a deeply solid characterisation.
Michael Ondaatje was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

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In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje