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Shashi Bhat

Shashi Bhat was born in Richmond Hill, Ont.  She received a B.A. in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in fiction from The Johns Hopkins University.  Bhat lived for a time in Halifax, N.S. where she was an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Dalhousie University.  Currently (as of summer 2017), Bhat teaches Creative Writing at Douglas College and is the editor of EVENT magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals and her first novel was published in the winter of 2013.  Her short story “Why I Read Beowulf” was first published in the journal PRISM International and selected as one of the finalists for the 24th annual Journey Prize and appeared in The Journey Prize: Stories: The Best of Canada’s New Writers (Toronto: Emblem/McClelland & Stewart, 2012). Bhat’s short story “Mute” published in the Dalhousie Review is the winner of 2018 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize.

Book cover of The Family Took Shape


The Family Took Shape

Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2013.
PS8603 .H38 F35 2012

Awards and Honours

2014 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award (Shortlisted)

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

When Mira Acharya’s father dies, the challenges facing her Indo-Canadian family become that much more daunting. Ravi, her autistic older brother, requires special care but longs to be just like other children. Their mother must work full time to keep a roof over their heads and still make time to be a parent to an over-achiever and a developmentally challenged child. As much as Mira loves her mother and brother, she resents the situations in which living with them places her.

It is only when Mira is older that she realizes a truth she has been missing all along: though her family’s experience may be unusual, what holds them together – has always held them together – is universal.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Shashi Bhat.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 280.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017


Shashi Bhat personal website

Publisher Cormorant Books

Shashi Bhat page from agency The Rights Factory