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Jaspreet Singh

Jaspreet Singh was grew up in India and Kashmir. He moved to Montreal in 1990 where he completed both an M.Eng. (1993) and a Ph.D (1998) in chemical engineering at McGill University.  Jaspreet Singh now lives in Toronto and is pursuing writing full-time.

Singh’s autobiographical essay “My Mother, My Translator” published online by GRANTA is an exceptionally prose work that on the surface describes her translation of Seventeen Tomatoes into the Punjabi language, and his own efforts to translate her MSS of memorial writing into English.



Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2008.
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2010.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Chef Kirpal, seriously ill, returns to Kashmir after a gap of fourteen years to cook his last meal at the Governor’s residence. He embarks on a long train and bus journey from Delhi to Kashmir during which he looks back over his days of apprenticeship and the life of ordinary soldiers on the Siachen glacier, occupation of Kashmir by India and Pakistan, prejudice against the Muslims, and his relationship with women from both sides of the border. But his reasons for visiting Kashmir one last time extend further than the strong desire to cook a wedding meal for the General’s daughter. He would like to excavate a part of his past that has kept him from moving forward.

Awards and Honours

2009 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction (Writers’ Guild of Alberta) (Winner)
2009 Commonwealth Book Prize (Shortlisted)
2008 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction (Quebec Writers’ Federation) (Nominated)

Helium book cover


Helium: A Novel

London ; New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2013.
PS8637 .I53 H45 2013

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

On November 1st 1984, a day after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, a nineteen-year-old student travels back from a class trip to the northern regions of India with Professor Singh, his mentor, an expert on chemical elements and the man who introduced him to Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table. As the group disembark at Delhi station a mob surrounds the professor, throws a tyre over him, douses him in petrol and sets him alight.

Fusing documentary and fictional impulses, Helium deals with one of the most shocking moments in the history of the Indian nation: the massacre of the Sikh citizens organised, incited and enabled by the government. Jaspreet Singh has crafted an affecting and important story of memory, collective silences and personal trauma.

Fiction (Short stories)

Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir

Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2004.
PS8637 .I53 S48 2004

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Seventeen Tomatoes is a series of linked stories which revolve around two Sikh boys coming of age in an Indian army camp in Kashmir. Each story takes a minor character from the previous tale and builds a new tale, weaving a collective portrait of the border community. In addition to the boys, Adi (a student of gardens) and Arjun (a budding chemist), we meet a boatman’s daughter, a captured Pakistani officer, a celebrity cricket umppire and Parachute Aunty.

Awards and Honours

2004 Mcauslan First Book Prize (Quebec Writers’ Federation) (Winner)


November: Poems

Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2017.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

A diverse collection of poems, some reflecting the poet’s scientific training, others reflecting his political inclinations, all infused with a deep sense of humanity.

Anthology (Short stories)

Coming Attractions 04

Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman.
Ottawa: Oberon Press, 2004.

Includes three stories by Singh: Spellbound, A Little Bit of Bar-rough, and, You Must Be.

Closer to Home book cover


Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait

TR681 .A85 B97 2008

Byrnes, Terence. “Jaspreet Singh in His Apartment.” In Byrnes, Terence. Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait. Montréal: Véhicule Press, 2008, 46-47.


Jaspreet Singh personal website

Publisher Véhicule Press

Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing