Michael Ondaatje is the author of more thatn 20 works of poetry and fiction, including The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Running in the Family, Coming through Slaughter, In the Skin of a Lion, and The English Patient. He is the recipient of the Man Booker Prize, The Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Médicis, the Governor General’s Award, and the Giller Prize. His work is known for complex narrative structures and musical prose that incorporates elements of myth, history, jazz, memoir, and other forms.

He inaugurated the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series at Bovard Auditorium on March 5, 2019, with a reading from his 2018 novel Warlight, followed by a conversation with USC Writer in Residence Geoff Dyer.