Beatrice and Virgil

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Beatrice and Virgil  
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel.JPG
Author(s)Yann Martel
CountryCanada
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Novel
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf Canada
Publication dateApril 6, 2010
Pages224
ISBN0-307-39877-3 (first edition, hardcover)
Preceded byLife of Pi
 
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Beatrice and Virgil  
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel.JPG
Author(s)Yann Martel
CountryCanada
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Novel
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf Canada
Publication dateApril 6, 2010
Pages224
ISBN0-307-39877-3 (first edition, hardcover)
Preceded byLife of Pi

Beatrice and Virgil is Canadian writer Yann Martel's third novel. First published in April 2010, it contains an allegorical tale about representations of the Holocaust. It tells the story of Henry, a novelist, who receives the manuscript of a play in a letter from a reader. Intrigued, Henry traces the letter to a taxidermist, who introduces him to the play's protagonists, two taxidermy animals—Beatrice, a donkey, and Virgil, a monkey.[1]

The Globe and Mail reported that Martel received a $2 million advance from Random House for U.S. rights alone, and that the total advance for worldwide rights was around $3 million, probably the highest ever advance for a single Canadian novel.[1] Martel's earlier novel, Life of Pi, won the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and sold seven million copies worldwide.[2]

Contents

References to other works

Early on in the story, the protagonist makes reference to Primo Levi's If This Is a Man; Art Spiegelman's Maus; David Grossman's See Under: Love; Martin Amis's Time's Arrow; George Orwell's Animal Farm; Albert Camus's The Plague; and Pablo Picasso's Guernica.

Extracts are the quoted from Flaubert's The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitator which is discussed at length. Later in the novel, Jacques the Fatalist by Diderot is later discussed along with Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."

The title is an allusion to two of the main characters in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.

Other works by Martel

Notes

  1. ^ a b Barber, John. Martel's post-modern Holocaust allegory fetches $3-million advance, The Globe and Mail, April 6, 2010.
  2. ^ Flood, Alison. Yann Martel takes break from lobbying PM to promote new novel, The Guardian, March 1, 2010.

Further reading

  • Martel, Yann. Beatrice and Virgil. Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2010.
  • Barber, John. Yann Martel: Lost and found, The Globe and Mail, May 1, 2010.