Life Of Pi, published in 2001, is a fantasy adventure novel that revolves around an Indian teenger named Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, and a Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Pi is the son of a zoo owner, and he lives with his family in Pondicherry. The young boy is a Hindu, but also practices Islam and Christianity. The Patels decide to move to Canada, and so they load all the zoo animals onto a Japanese cargo ship. Unfortunately, they encounter a storm, and the ship sinks. Pi manages to reach the lifeboat, and finds out that the boat carries another passenger, a 450 pound Bengal tiger. The human protagonist soon realizes that he needs to tame Richard Parker in order to survive. On the 26-foot craft, Pi develops a parental relationship with the wild cat. He uses food as positive reinforcement, and seasickness as punishment. Life Of Pi describes various incredible events that take place while these two creatures float across the Pacific Ocean for 227 days.
Life Of Pi is not a classic lifeboat-survival story. The novel beautifully explores two completely opposite human perspectives, namely spirituality and science. This book has sold over ten million copies globally. It has won the 2002 Man Booker Prize For Fiction, the 2003 South African Boeke Prize, and the 2004 Asian/Pacific American Award For Literature In Best Adult Fiction for years 2001–2003. In 2012, the book was adapted into a major motion picture, and it won four awards at the 85th Academy Awards.
About Yann Martel
Yann Martel, born in 1963, is a Canadian author. Some of his other works include Beatrice and Virgil, Self, andWe Ate The Children Last.