Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. He now lives in Montreal.
After studying philosophy at Trent University and while doing various odd jobs-tree planting, dishwashing, working as a security guard--he began to write. He is the prize-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (Vintage Canada 1993), a collection of short stories, and of Self (Vintage Canada 1997), a novel, both of them published internationally. His latest novel, The Life of Pi, won the Booker Prize in 2002, the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction 2001, and was shortlisted for the 2001 Governor General's Award for Fiction. Martel has been living from his writing since the age of 27. He divides his time between yoga, writing and volunteering in a palliative care unit.