A dazzling predecessor to Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning The English Patient and the novel in which the characters of Hana, the orphaned girl, and Caravaggio, the thief, appear for the first time, In the Skin of a Lion is a work of fiction that bristles with intelligence and shimmers with romance as it tests the boundary between history and myth.
Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s as an immigrant from Canada's backwoods. In this throbbing, polyglot city he earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario; in the course of his adventures, he falls in love with two actresses. Out of these branching, doubling stories, Ondaatje creates a dreamlike and surreal world. In the Skin of a Lion is a work of unalloyed enchantment, beautifully written and prodigiously imagined.