25th Trillium Award

Trillium Testimonial: Hilary MacLeod

Share |

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Ontario's illustrious Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium. To celebrate this silver milestone, Open Book has asked members of the literary community to tell us what they love about their favourite award-winning Trillium title. If you're looking for a recommended read (or re-read), follow these Trillium Testimonials on Open Book: Ontario from now until the winners of the 2012 award competition are announced. Today, author Hilary MacLeod tells us why she's chosen Michael Ondaatje?s The English Patient (McClelland and Stewart), winner of the 1992 Trillium Book Award.

Open Book:

What do you love about this book?

Hilary MacLeod:

The English Patient is my favourite of the Trillium Award-winning books. I love the weaving of the two main stories ? one past, one present, bound together by the English patient, who is not English at all, but Hungarian. Who could tell? There is only his voice to go by, as he recounts his story to the nurse, Hana.

I am a sucker for a tragic romance, and Ondaatje lays it on in his story of the affair between two compelling characters ? Almasy and Katharine ? set against the evocative backdrop of the final days of World War II.

Also compelling is the situation the young nurse Hana finds herself in ? in an abandoned villa, caring for a patient so burned he is fully covered in bandages, slowly unraveling and reliving his story. Some of it takes place in the desert, as barren as his life is now, coming to its own tragic end.

It?s a darn good yarn -- deep and moving.


When did you first read it?


I have no idea when I read it ? shortly after it came out, many years ago.

Hilary MacLeod is author of The Shores mysteries, set on Prince Edward Island. The first, Revenge of the Lobster Lover, was a CBC Bookie winner 2011. Mind Over Mussels was published in 2011, and All is Clam, a Christmas mystery, comes out this year. Hilary is a Media Studies professor at Loyalist College and a former CBC radio host.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search