Author(s): Yann Martel
Destiny can take many shapes. For Henry, a writer struggling to finish a book about the Holocaust, it arrives in the form of a puzzling envelope from a stranger. The envelope takes him into a taxidermist's workshop. Filled with lovingly preserved animals from all corners of the globe, this place is unlike anywhere he has ever been. Among the hundreds of stuffed animals are Beatrice and Virgil: a monkey and a donkey they are also the characters in a play the taxidermist is writing. When taxidermist asks Henry for help with the play, he is drawn in. But what is this play actually about? What have the animals suffered at the hands of the author? Who is he? And what does he really want from Henry?
With the imaginative reach and spirit that helped Life of Pi delight over seven million readers around the world, Beatrice and Virgil asks profound questions about violence, kindness and the power of stories to change us.
This short novel by the author of Life of Pi follows an author's relationship with a reclusive taxidermist who requests the author's help in writing a play about a donkey and a monkey (Beatrice and Virgil). The story kept me drawn in because it was quite strange, and I could tell that all was not quite as it seemed, something was sort of creeping underneath the main storyline, becoming more apparent as the novel progressed. The end of the book was quite intense and left me wanting to lend it to people straight away so they could experience this as well and tell me what they thought! - Jessie
Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi which has been published in 45 territories and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. Yann lives in Saskatoon, Canada.