Life of Pi was published in 2001 to warm, although somewhat mixed, critical reception. But the popularity of the book went through the roof after the writer won the Man Booker Prize and became an international best-seller. There were those who had problems with the book as what they saw as Martel’s heavy-handedness with the issue of belief in God, which they considered to underestimate both literature and religion. Other critics, however, praised Martel’s handling of the potentially controversial religious material.
At the height of the book’s popularity, there was a short-lived scandal involving an accusation of plagiarism. Martel has acknowledged that he thought of the premise after reading a review of the English translation of Moacyr Scliar’s Max and the Cats; the Brazilian press accused Martel of cribbing that book. The similarities between the books, however, are few, and nothing came of the charges.
Source: Trivia on Martel
Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel. It was published in 2001.