Anil's Ghost is the fourth novel written by the Sri-Lankan born Canadian author Michael Ondaatje; it was published in English by McClelland & Stewart Publishers on March 30, 2000. The title was not pulled out of the blue. Anil's Ghost could be talking about Anil's struggle to consolidate her past memories and her present life, or the sailor, the unidentified skeleton, as a representation of war victims as a whole. It could also refer to the huge amount of Sri Lankan atrocities that affect most people that Anil meets throughout the book.
Anil's Ghost is about a girl named Anil who left Sri Lanka, her home country, to study forensic pathology first in the United Kingdom and then in the United States of America. When she goes back to Sri Lanka, she finds it in the middle of a civil war. In the midst of all this, Anil, along with an archaeologist named Sarath, discover a recently killed man buried in an ancient burial grounds. Anil and Sarath believe that the murder was politically motivated, and set out to bring justice to the thousands of faceless victims of the Sri Lankan civil war.
Anil's Ghost has received substantial critical acclaim, and the author has stated that he considers the book his Magnum Opus. In addition to being praised for skillfully explaining the effects of wars, it has won a number of major awards, including the Giller Prize for Extraordinary Literature, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, and the Governor General's Award for English Language Fiction; it also currently holds a rating of 3.54/5 on Goodreads.
Though the book did not achieve as much success on the sales front as Ondaatje's previous book, The English Patient, it sold a respectable number of copies, and was the author's last book to date that could be considered popular in any sense, and that won any number of major awards.