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Shani Mootoo is a writer of fiction and poetry, as well as a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo’s novels include Cereus Blooms at Night, Valmiki’s Daughter, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, and Polar Vortex. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and the James Duggins Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize. Her work has been longlisted and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the International DUBLIN Literary Award, and the Booker Prize. Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad, and now lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Award History

Jury Citation

“For three decades, Shani Mootoo has been writing some of this country’s most original and incandescent fiction. With deep understanding and a fearless devotion, she worries at the knot of identity and transformation revealing, in an ever-expanding way, the costs of pursuing one’s dreams. Her novels and stories transport us. Set variously against the lushness of the tropics and the stark relief of Canadian winters, they peel back the layers of emotion experienced by those who resist cultural, racial, and sexual hegemony: people whose identities and upbringings are at perilous odds with their desires. These books are alive, audacious, and full of craft; it’s a body of work that inspires us with all its care and unselfconscious trajectory.”

Program History

2023 Selector

Rising Stars