Some writers manage to create a work so resonant that, for better or worse, it eclipses all their other efforts, and Yann Martel is one such scribe, thanks to the success of his acclaimed fable-like n...
|Life of Pi||Source Material||(from novel: "Life of Pi")||4000006|
|"Manners of Dying," a movie based on his short story of the same name, is released|
|Won the Man Booker Prize for Ficton|
|Published debut novel, Self|
|Unveiled the novel Life of Pi, which generated considerable buzz and acclaim|
|Released The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a short-story collection|
|Published third novel, Beatrice and Virgil|
|Ang Lee's big-budget Life of Pi film adaptation debuted to accolades|
|"We Ate the Children Last," a TV movie based on his short story, aired|
Born in Spain to a Canadian diplomat family, Martel spent time in various countries as a youth and was raised speaking both French and English. After boarding school and college in Ontario, he continued to travel widely and made his debut as a writer during the 1990s, with his short-story collection The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (1993) leading to minimal attention. Martel's first novel, Self (1996), detailed the life of a male protagonist who inexplicably transforms into a woman, and didn't find many fans, including the author, who later distanced himself from the book. With spirituality and animals prominently on his mind, Martel wrote Life of Pi, a story about a religiously restless Indian teenager named Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel who survives a shipwreck along with a handful of zoo animals, most notably a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, and must survive in a small lifeboat. The semi-fantastical yarn eventually found an international audience, won multiple prestigious awards, and became a perennial bestseller.
With Martel's profile considerably raised, he was able to enjoy the success of Life of Pi for a number of years. A Canadian film adaptation of one of his short stories, "Manners of Dying," was released in 2004. Naturally, a movie version of Life of Pi went into development, with various major filmmakers circling the project, including Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who was poised to direct when the production fell apart. In the meantime, Martel launched a project where he recommended books to Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, while working on his follow-up novel, Beatrice and Virgil, a story involving the Holocaust and a stuffed donkey and monkey, which ultimately had a muted reception. A television movie of his high-concept story "We Ate the Children Last" aired in Canada during 2011, by which point the Life of Pi movie was finally underway. Under the bold guidance of Ang Lee, the film moved forward, and Lee's visionary approach to the tale led to a visually lavish 3D production that exceeded expectations and even won a Best Director Oscar, among other Academy Awards. This allowed Martel to soak up yet another round of appreciation for his signature novel more than a decade after its initial publication.
|"I'm not a fast writer, but I am hardworking: when I'm in front of my computer I can spend hours on end getting sentences down from the dream world on to my screen. It's a joy." - from The Guardian, Nov. 26, 2002|
|"In a movie, you need good actors, whereas in a book, you don't, unless you have a really bad imagination. In a book, your imagination will do the acting for you. Also, the process of revelation is often different. Tension is achieved in a different way. It's just a very different language. There are great advantages, but there are also great risks." - from The A.V. Club, Nov. 6, 2007|
|The film adaptation of Life of Pi was stuck in development limbo for years, with M. Night Shyamalan and Jean-Pierre Jeunet among the potential directors.|
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