The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts will welcome author Michael Ondaatje to the University of Georgia as the 2019-2020 Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding.
Ondaatje, whose 1992 novel The English Patient was awarded the “Golden Booker” prize in 2018 as the best English-language novel of the past 50 years, will visit UGA and Athens Oct. 24-25 for a slate of public events and informal conversations with college and high school students.
Ondaatje’s main public event will be a reading and conversation on Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Chapel, followed by a meet-and-greet reception on the lawn outside the Chapel. On Oct. 25, he will attend an 8 p.m. public reception and book signing at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave. in downtown Athens. Books will be offered for sale at the event by Avid Bookshop.
Both events are open free to the public. During his two-day visit, Ondaatje also will meet with students in classes at both UGA and Clarke Central High School.
The English Patient won the Man Booker, awarded each year for the best novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom. A 1996 film adaptation, directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Naveen Andrews and Kristen Scott Thomas, won nine Academy Awards.
The Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding, established by the Willson Center through the support of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, hosts outstanding global scholars, leading creative thinkers, artists and intellectuals who engage with audiences on and off the UGA campus through lectures, seminars, discussions and other community events. The Delta Chair program aims to foster conversations that engage with global perspectives through the humanities and arts.
The chair is founded upon the legacy of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which from 1997-2011 was presented to individuals whose initiatives promoted world peace by advancing understanding and cooperation among cultures and nations.