The novel was rejected by at least five London publishing houses before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published it in September 2001. The UK edition won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction the following year.
It was also chosen for CBC Radio's Canada Reads 2003, where it was championed by author Nancy Lee. The French translation, L'histoire de Pi, was chosen in the French version of the contest, Le combat des livres, where it was championed by Louise Forestier.
The novel won the 2003 Boeke Prize, a South African novel award. In 2004, it won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Best Adult Fiction for years 2001–2003.
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