Rohinton Mistry
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumRohinton Mistry - Credit: F. Mistry

Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay in 1952. His parents were members of the Parsi religious community, which meant that as a child he found himself on the margins of Indian life, living differently to the Hindu majority.

He attended university in Bombay, graduating with a degree in mathematics and economics in 1973. 

Mistry met his wife Freny at a music school when he was nineteen years old. He was studying musical theory and she was taking voice and piano lessons. They married in 1975.

The couple then emigrated to Canada, where career prospects were much better and they could foresee a higher quality of life.

Mistry spent a short time working for a bank before enrolling in the University of Toronto; he gained a degree in English and Philosophy in 1984.

While at the university, he became the first author to win two Hart House literary prizes, for stories published in the Hart House Review and Canadian Fiction Magazine.

In 1987 his first book of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag, was published by Penguin. All eleven stories in the book are set within one Parsi apartment block in Bombay.

His first full length novel, Such A Long Journey, was published in 1991. It won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 1998 it was made into a film, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson.

A Fine Balance (1995) won the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize. In 2001 it was selected for Oprah's Book Club, and sold hundreds of thousands of additional copies throughout North America as a result.

Family Matters (2002), was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, but Mistry cancelled his US tour for the book after being continually harassed by airport officials due to his "Muslim appearance".

The Scream (2008) is a short story set in a Bombay apartment. It was originally produced in a limited edition of 150 copies, in aid of World Literacy of Canada, but has since been reprinted.

Oprah's Book Club discussion of A Fine Balance

January Magazine Interview with Rohinton Mistry

Guardian Interview with Rohinton Mistry