Globe and Mail review

Thanks to Ed Brown from the Globe and Mail for this review:

“…the characters are refreshingly genuine. Throughout, Doctor skillfully plays with concepts of motion, migration and movement, both physical and emotional… Doctor brings alive with great skill the streetscape of the diverse Toronto neighbourhood known as Little Portugal.”

Indian Voices launch

An excerpt of Stealing Nasreen has been published in a new anthology called Indian Voices. It’s edited by Jasmine D’Costa, who also edited Canadian Voices 1 and 2. Although I’ve been a part of a South Asian focussed anthology before, this is my first time being published in an anthology that will be available and marketed in India. My first foray into the Indian lit world!

The Toronto launch of this book will be held on April 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Supermarket Art Bar, 268 Augusta Avenue, in Kensington Market, Toronto. Also being launched is  “Hearts & Souls”, Leopoldo Paradela‘s new book of poetry. Come on out! The night is free (sponsored by Scotiabank) with refreshments, a cash bar and entertainment celebrating the cultures of the two books. The Consul Generals of India and Brazil will be in attendance. Some of the GTA-based contributors will be reading from their submissions, me included.

If you can’t make to the event, watch the livestream online.

New review from Jim Bartley at XTRA!

From XTRA!: “Doctor expertly matches these diverse characters together in intimate situations, creating tense or touching moments of connection across divisions of age, gender and sexual or cultural bias…Doctor leads us to this understanding with wonderful sleight of hand. It sneaks up and then hits with a tender wallop. Novels don’t often spring sudden tears from me. This story did it several times, and never with tawdry tugs at the heartstrings. The book cuts deep, to the core of love, universal need and our responsibility to others.” March 24, 2011. Read the rest here.


Brockton Writers Series #17

This month we are excited to bring to the mic Ava Homa, Jorge Antonio Vallejos, Marcus McCann and Sarah Greene.

Wednesday April 6, 7-9, at the beautiful and historic St. Anne’s Church, 270 Gladstone (just north of Dundas). Writers’ networking (open to all writers–emerging and established) begins at 6:30pm. This month’s networking session will be facilitated by Nora Gold.

The event is free, but we pass a hat ($3-$5, pwyc suggested donation) to pay the writers. Books for sale. Drinks available by donation to the Jeremiah Community at St. Anne’s church, who provide us with refreshments and the space.

More about the writers:

Ava is a Kurdish-Iranian-Canadian, writer-in-exile, with two Master’s in “English and Creative Writing” and “English Language and Literature.” Echoes from the Other Land, Ava’s collection of short stories about resistance of modern Iranian women under the oppressive regime, was published by TSARbooks, Toronto. On its universal scale, Echoes from the Other Land, is the story of human endurance, desire, resistance, passion and pleasure. Ava’s short fictions and translations have appeared in numerous English and Farsi journals including Windsor Review. She was a teacher, journalist, writer and a member of faculty in Iran. In Toronto, Ava writes and teaches Creative Writing, English and ESL.

Jorge Antonio Vallejos is a poet, essayist, and journalist. His creative writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Our Times, Toronto Star, Descant and is forthcoming in the new anthology Crave It by Red Claw Press. See his new poetry magazine:

Marcus McCann is the author of Soft Where (Chaudiere Books, 2009) and eight chapbooks, most recently The Glass Jaw (Bywords, 2010) and Town in a Long Day of Leaving (above/ground 2010). In 2010, he won the John Newlove Award and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert. The Lampert jury called Soft Where a “a stunning book … written in the language of the people and soaked in a heart of sapphire.” He’s a past organizer of the Transgress Festival and the Naughty Thoughts Book Club. A journalist by day, McCann lives in Toronto.

Sarah Greene is a writer and musician living in the Junction Triangle. Her writing has appeared in NOW Magazine, The Coast (Halifax), and Broken Pencil. Greene took part in creative writing workshops during her undergrad at UofT, and has since self-published three chapbooks of poetry, the most recent being 2007’s Packing up the farm. Greene’s indie-folk band The Pickups (2003-2007) released a self-titled album and an EP called Country Houses, City Streets, which charted on campus-community radio and was featured on CBC Radio and in the Globe and Mail. Her new solo album, recorded with David Celia in Mississauga, is called Toronto Blues.

2nd Linares International Literary Festival

My friend and writer colleague, Jasmine D’Costa, recently told me about her experiences at the Linares International Festival in Mexico. Despite this only being its second year, it sounded like a terrific experience, and so I wanted to help spread the word about it. When asked about the importance of Canadian authors participating in these kinds of events, she said, “These festivals offer a very lasting connection to other cultures and peoples and improves and stimulates the interest in Canadian culture, writing and writers in return. The importance of young people participating can hardly be stressed enough since this ensures a long term involvement in our work. This event was so balanced and well organized that I think it met with these long term goals, and was not just an impersonal crowded display of authors.”

Below is from the press release about the festival:

“Nuevo León, México (15-18 March, 2011).- It was in Linares, Nuevo León, a town located 127 kms outside of Monterrey, in which the celebrated US-Canadian poet Albert Moritz first plucked an orange from a tree, the Indian-Canadian author Jasmine D’Costa felt like a rock star, Bosnian author Goran Simic proved that México is a country filled with warm and welcoming people, and in which Slovenia’s top poet Marjan Strohan was struck by the beauty of the architecture of the area, which he described as “European style, but with nicer people.”

The festival features art events and evening entertainment, such as poetry readings, panel discussions, lectures, book signings, music, art and photography exhibitions, a book fair, documentaries, literary dinners, and a ‘Café Literario’. Created on the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence, the Literary Festival’s mandate is to promote reading, and to encourage interest in and to increase awareness of Mexican and international literature, history and culture.

By all accounts the festival was a spectacular success, and in only its second year received lavish attention on TV, radio and in print. The town Mayor, Francisco Medina, has congratulated Colin and the festival committee, consisting of Pilar Escudero and Silvia Hernanadez, for the fantastic and unprecedented job they have done in attracting writers of global significance to a town that had never previously witnessed a poetry reading, less still a full-blown international festival of authors.

Carberry believe the festival can only grow in strength: “We have tapped into a rich vein of interest in literature here in Linares, and a deep hunder among the citizens of Linares to share their rich culture with the wider world. Deep down, I always knew this, and decided to take a gamble and organize a festival in 2010, thinking an honest failure was better than a false success. But the goodwill and support shown to me by the people of Linares have astounded me, and this year’s festival has surpassed all my hopes and expectations. The Linares International Literary is now a first-class event that will only grown in stature, size, and prestige.”

Full disclosure: I’m hoping my enthusiasm for this new festival will score me an invitation to next year’s event 🙂

Women Doing Literary Things

Writer Niranjana Iyer has just set up a new blog in response to the VIDA stats that demonstrate the underrepresentation of women in the literary industry. It’s called Women Doing Literary Things.

I’m honoured to be guest blogger #3, on March 11th. In my post, I celebrate my Promo Squad. Have a look!.

Facing Out

I’ll be chatting with Annemarie Shrouder about my new novel In Conversation

Join us in person, or watch the livestream online!

In Conversation is part of Facing Out – a project in collaboration with the Toronto Women’s Bookstore.
Facing Out’s vision is to inspire connection, discussion, and community around arts and politics – here and around the world.

Thursday March 17th, 7-8pm EST

Toronto Women’s Bookstore, 73 Harbord St. Toronto
livestream: or
416 922 8744
Free event
Watch the book trailer:

Toronto launch!

at the Gladstone

My Facebook status update at 11:24pm on March 7th was:

Well! Everyone should have a night like that at least once in their life.

I’ve had two of these fabulous nights so far, first with the launch of Stealing Nasreen, and again with the Toronto launch of Six Metres of Pavement.

There’s nothing quite like getting up on stage and looking out at a packed ballroom full of  family, friends, fans and colleagues, all there to celebrate your work.

Thanks to This Is Not A Reading Series for putting this night together and to Judy Wolfe who MCed. Very special thanks to on-stage interviewer Marc Glassman who stayed up all night to read my book in preparation for standing in for Susan G. Cole (who couldn’t make it due to a death in the family). The folks from 10 1/2 stories and musician Sarah Greene did a lovely job entertaining the crowd.

Most of all, thanks to all who attended or sent good wishes. May everyone have a night like this at least once (or twice or thrice) in their lifetimes.

book signing-photo courtesy Anna Withrow

NOW Magazine review: “A winner.”

Thanks to Susan G. Cole for this is NOW Magazine review. 4/5 stars!

I hope you’ll join us at the launch. More info:

NOW Columnist Susan G. Cole and author Farzana Doctor share an intimate conversation about writing, neighbourhoods and how we get over the worst mistakes of our lives at the launch of Farzana’s new book, Six Metres of Pavement. Joining in the celebration will be Toronto musician Sarah Greene who will play songs from her debut solo album, Toronto Blues, and local storytelling group 10 1/2 stories who will invite audience members to tell their true-life tales about the worst mistakes of their lives.
Monday March 7th, 2011,

Doors open at 7:00 for a 7:30 start. Admission is $5.oo; FREE with a book purchase.

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto