Yann Martel (born 25 June 1963) is a Spanish-born Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, a #1 international bestseller published in more than 50 territories. It has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and spent more than a year on the Bestseller Lists of the New York Times and The Globe and Mail, among many other best-selling lists. It was adapted to the screen and directed by Ang Lee, garnering four Oscars (the most for the event) including Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. Martel is also the author of the novels The High Mountains of Portugal, Beatrice and Virgil and Self, the collection of stories The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He has won a number of literary prizes, including the 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the 2002 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children. Although his first language is French, Yann Martel writes in English: "English is the language in which I best express the subtlety of life. But I must say that French is the language closest to my heart. And for this same reason, English gives me a sufficient distance to write."