Latest Issue

Michael Ondaatje in conversation

By Yvonne D  

In Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel, The Cat’s Table (Cape), an 11-year-old boy boards an ocean liner bound for England from Ceylon, a journey the author made himself in 1954.

For the narrator and his two young companions, the ship becomes a privileged place of freedom as they range ‘all over the place like freed mercury.’ Moving between the time of his seaborne adventure and the boy’s adult years, the narrative brilliantly evokes the contrast between the freedoms of childhood and the burdens of experience.

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect