Yann Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain, in 1963, of Canadian parents who were doing graduate studies. His first book, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, was published in 1993 and is a collection of short stories. This was followed by his first novel, Self, a tale of sexual identity, orientation and Orlando-like transformation.
In 2002 Yann Martel came to public attention when he won the Man Booker Prize for his second novel, Life of Pi, an epic survival story with an overarching religious theme. In 2004, a collection of short stories was published entitled We Ate The Children Last. His latest book is a further novel, Beatrice and Virgil, which deals with the holocaust.