Vassanji is the author of seven novels, two collections of short
stories, a travel memoir about India, a memoir of East Africa, and a biography of Mordecai
Richler. He is twice winner of the Giller Prize (1994, 2003) for best
work of fiction in Canada; the Governor General's Prize (2009) for best
work of nonfiction; the Harbourfront Festival Prize; the Commonwealth
First Book Prize (Africa, 1990); and the Bressani Prize. The Assassin's
Song was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s
Prize, the Writers Trust Award, and India's Crossword Prize. His work
has been translated into Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian,
Japanese, Latvian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Swahili. Vassanji has given lectures worldwide and written many
essays, including introductions to the works of Robertson Davies, Anita
Desai, and Mordecai Richler, and the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi.
In June 2015, MG Vassanji was awarded the Canada Council Molson Prize
for the Arts. (Photo: Mark Reynolds)
M G Vassanji was born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in Tanzania. He
received a BS from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and a PhD
from the University of Pennsylvania, before going to live in Canada. He is a
member of the Order of Canada and has been awarded several honorary
He lives in Toronto, and visits East Africa and India often.
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|Imagine a world in which people live
long lives through rejuvenation, with new memories and
identities; a world also with a Long Border separating the rich
North and the rest--failed states, militias, routine violence,
One day in Toronto a strange looking man with "variegated"
features, called Presley Smith, arrives in the office of Dr
Frank Sina, suffering from a disorder called the Leaked Memory
Syndrome, or Nostalgia. Memories from a forgotten past have come
crawling out, threatening a flood and nervous collapse.
Who is Presley Smith, and why does the Department of Internal
Security claim him? Why does Frank Sina feel a special affinity
And who, indeed, is Frank Sina?
. The Magic of Saida
. The Assassin's Song
. The In-Between World of Vikram
. No New Land
. The Book of Secrets
. The Gunny Sack
. When She Was Queen
. Uhuru Street
Nonfiction & Travel
. And Home Was Kariakoo:
a memoir of East Africa
. A Place Within:
. Mordecai Richler
FOR MORE CURRENT EVENTS VISIT FACEBOOK. LIKE
"MG Vassanji travels back to Tanzania."
Interview, Macleans, October 2014
“The New (Asian) African: Politics and Creativity in the 1960s.”
Lecture (2013-2014) at the University of Indiana,
Bloomington; School of Oriental and African Studies (London); Kenyatta
University (Nairobi); the University of Nairobi.
“Gandhi: A Personal Discovery.”
Lecture to Gandhi Society, Calgary,
Alberta. October 2014
“Physics, Fiction, and Song: On the Influence of Mystical Folk Songs.”
University of Calgary. October 2013
“A Place Called In-between, in the Country of Nowhere.”
2012 Arthur Ravenscroft Memorial Lecture, Leeds University, England.
In conversation with Austin Clarke, Margaret Atwood, and Linden
(this coversation took place in October 2013, for the 25th anniversary of
the Giller Prize.)
M G Vassanji: Essays on His Works
edited by Asma Sayed
Published by Guernica Press, Toronto
A collection of interpretive essays on the
along with an extended interview.