The protagonist of Yann Martel’s novel “Life of Pi,” this year’s winner of Great Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize, is the son of a zookeeper; a believer and practitioner of Hinduism, Islam, and Catholicism; and for much of the story, a survivor of a shipwreck who shares a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. As the book develops, Pi begins to realize that his first survival instinct is the wrong one; rather than killing the tiger, he concludes that it is far more important to keep him alive.
Yann is the son of diplomats, and while he was growing up, his family established homes around the globe, from Costa Rica and Mexico to France and the United States. A practitioner of yoga and a volunteer at a palliative care center, Yann has also traveled through Iran, Turkey, and India, and currently resides in Montreal.
“Life of Pi” (Harcourt Brace, 2002; $25)