Ven Begamudre

Ven Begamudré was born in Bangalore, India in 1956 and emigrated to Canada with his family when he was six. In addition to short stories and novels, Begamudré has written a biography of Isaac Brock for young adults, and has edited or co-edited a couple of literary collections. He has completed six writer-in-residence appointments including the Canada-Scotland Exchange. Begamudré has a degree in public administration from Carleton University and an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan and the island of Bali.


The Lightness Which is Our World Seen From Afar

Calgary: Frontenac House, 2006.
PS8553 .E342 L44 2006

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its Website)

A deserted woman has an affair with a Hindu god while her husband lusts for jewels that are guarded by cobras. A widower retraces the last European holiday he took with his wife. Excursions are made into the personal and political absurdities of language and naming. Whether it’s a bus tour in Mumbai, a café stop in Lausanne, or a sunset walk along the Bay of Bengal — Ven Begamudré’s journeys are filled with longing, desire and a tenderness that persists beyond reason.

Fiction (Short stories)

Laterna Magika: Stories

Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan Books, 1997.

Awards and Honours

1997 City of Regina Prize (Co-winner with Sandra Birdsell’s The Two-Headed Calf, and, Joanne Gerber’s In the Misleading Absence of Light)

1997 Commonwealth Book Prize (Short list)

1997 Saskatchewan Book Awards Fiction Prize (Short list)

1997 Saskatchewan Book Awards Book of the Year (Short list)

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Phantom Queen

Regina, Sask.: Coteau Books, 2002.

Awards and Honours

2002 Our Choice, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Selection

Fiction (Short stories)

A Planet of Eccentrics

Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan Books, 1990.
9th floor PS8553 .E342 P5 1990

Publisher’s Synopsis

The stories reflect a world that has become truly a global village. Begamudré’s characters travel back and forth between India, Europe, and North America with ease, yet once they have left their roots they experience a profound sense of separation and isolation.

In these transcultural tales, the author acknowledges a vital mythological heritage. Out of the powerful storytelling tradition of India, Ven Begamudré fashions a world of eccentrics: “To be eccentric is to be natural, and to fear our eccentricities is to fear our humanity.”

Awards and Honours

1992 F.G. Bressani Literary Prize for Prose (Winner)

Fiction (Novella)


Erin, Ont.: Porcupine’s Quill, 1986.

Van de Graaff Days book cover


Van de Graaff Days

Lantzville, B.C.: Oolichan Books, 1993.

Awards and Honours

1993 City of Regina Book Award (Finalist)

1993 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award (Finalist


Vishnu Dreams

Kentville, N.S. : Gaspereau Press, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

[Vishnu Dreams] combines Hindu mythology with the story of a family. Through the veil of Vishnu’s unions with Lakshmi and his incarnation in the tale of Manu and the fish, the novel portrays a pair of siblings as they navigate 1960s North American culture under the weight of their emotionally abusive father and ambitious mother. By day Subhas and Durga master the logistics of junior highschool in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, while at night they watch the disintegration of their parents’ marriage.

Following the breakup, and in the wake of an unfortunate misunderstanding between the two siblings, Durga moves to Canada with their mother, while Subhas remains in the United States with their father. Now in her late teens and training as part of the Seaforth Highlanders reserve regiment in Vancouver, Durga struggles to find her way in a place she loves, while back in Pennsylvania, Subhas works a part-time job at a gas station during the oil crisis.

Anthology (Short stories)

“Out of sync.” In So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy, ed. Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan, 217-228. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004.
9th floor PN6071 .S33 S6 2004

Anthology (Short stories)

“Word Games.” First published in the journal Canadian Fiction Magazine. It was shortlisted for the first annual awarding of The Journey Prize. It appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology: The Best Short Fiction From Canada’s Literary Journals (Toronto: M&S, 1989).

Reading Writers Reading book cover


Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors’ Reflections

10th floor Z1039 .A87 R43 2006

Begamudré, Ven. “Why Benny Used to Read.” In Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors’ Reflections. Danielle Schaub, photographer and ed. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2006, 244-245.

Non-fiction (Memoir)

Extended Families

Toronto: Viking, 1997.
Toronto: Penguin, 1998.
Toronto: Coteau Books, 2017.

PS8553 .E342 Z46 2017

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Ven Begamudé.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 303.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017

Mukherjee, Arun. “‘A Planet of Eccentrics’: Begamudré’s Fantastic India.” In Oppositional Aesthetics: Readings from a Hyphenated Space. Toronto: TSAR, 1994, 158-163.
9th floor PS8089.5 .M5 M85 1994


Publisher Oolichan Books

Publisher Coteau Books

Publisher Frontenac House

Publisher Gaspereau Press