Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yann Martel's new novel, "Beatrice and Virgil," to hit shelves April 6

TORONTO — Lauded Canadian author Yann Martel will release his highly anticipated follow-up to "Life of Pi" in the spring.

Publisher Knopf Canada and literary agency Westwood Creative Artists say "Beatrice and Virgil" will hit shelves in Canada on April 6.

The novel is a Holocaust tale told through animals, including Beatrice the donkey and Virgil the monkey.

The Saskatoon-based writer told The Canadian Press last month that he hopes "Beatrice and Virgil" will be his "Animal Farm," the novel in which George Orwell used barnyard animals to write about Stalinism.

It's Martel's first new work of fiction since "Life of Pi," which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002.

That book, about a shipwrecked boy stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger, has caught the eye of Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, who wants to make it into a movie.

Last month, Martel published "What is Stephen Harper Reading?," a series of letters he's written to the prime minister about the importance of literature.

His other previous publications include a collection of short stories called "The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios" and the novel "Self."

Martel will tour Canada to promote "Beatrice and Virgil" in April and May.

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