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Martel winning his Man Booker in 2002.(John Li/Getty Images)

Saturday’s New York Times brought word that a Random House imprint has paid Canadian novelist Yann Martel around $3 million for his latest novel, a Holocaust allegory that features dialogue between a donkey and a monkey. In an interview with the paper, Martel, whose 2001 Life of Pi won the Man Booker Prize, decried what he sees as the restraint with which the Holocaust is depicted in books and onscreen. “It’s always represented in the same way, which is historical or social realism,” he said. “I was thinking that it was interesting that you don’t have many imaginative takes on it like George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and its take on Stalinism.” Artists, Martel added, are generally “fearful of letting the imagination loose on the Holocaust.”

It’s a provocative, if debatable, position. It’s also a curious one coming from an author who, in a decidedly unimaginative move, lifted the premise of his prize-winning book from another novelist.

‘Life of Pi’ Author Is Said to Get $3 Million Deal [NYT]





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