Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963. Growing up in a family of Canadian diplomats he lived in Mexico, Ohio, France, Alaska and Costa Rica. He returned to Canada in order to study Philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough.
Martel wrote three books up to this point in which he explores identities, gender roles and religion. His first work was published in 1993 under the title The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a volume of short stories for which he was awarded the Journey Prize. The title story was adapted for the screen in 1994. His novel Self (1997) was his first international success and has been translated into several languages. The novel was followed by Life of Pi (2001) which became an international bestseller for which Martel was awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2002. His most recent publication is Beatrice and Virgil (2010).