One Book One Brampton events

Click here for information about upcoming One Book One Brampton events! Here’s a list of workshops and talks I’ll be giving:

Writers Workshop with Farzana Doctor
Brampton Library Cyril Clark Branch, 20 Loafer’s Lake Lane
March 22, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

One Book One Brampton Book Club
Brampton LIbrary Four Corners Branch, 65 Queen Street E.
April 5, 1:00-3:00pm

An Evening with Farzana Doctor
Brampton Library Cyril Clark Branch, 20 Loafer’s Lane
April 21, 6:00-8:30pm

Six Metres of Pavement is the 2017 One Book One Brampton Winner!

A huge thanks to the Brampton Library, One Book One Brampton, and all of my friends, family and fans who voted for Six Metres of Pavement as this year’s pick. I watched with glee on Facebook Live from Beirut. I’m thrilled and am looking forward to meeting new Brampton readers.


A review of both novels in The Hindu!

I’m thrilled that both Six Metres of Pavement and Stealing Nasreen were reviewed in The Hindu!

An excerpt:

“Some voices, despite quiet cadences, succeed in making themselves heard very clearly above the cacophony of lesser noises. Writer Farzana Doctor undoubtedly belongs to this minor group, speaking in meaningful whispers and bewitching her readers into complete submission.”

More here: The Hindu : Arts / Books : Quiet and clear.

I made the shortlist for the 2012 Toronto Book Awards!

I’m thrilled to be a finalist for the 2012 Toronto Book Awards. This city, and the Brockton Triangle in particular, inspired Six Metres of Pavement. It’s an honour to be on the shortlist.

What the judges said:

“Farzana Doctor’s poignant Six Metres of Pavement brings together three very different Torontonians – a recently widowed woman struggling to come to terms with her new identity; a young queer activist thrown out by her parents; and a man whose tragic mistake years ago cost him just about everything – and unites them in their loneliness. In the complex weaving of their journeys, Doctor skillfully captures an essential quality of contemporary Toronto: a city of geographic, cultural, and emotional communities in constant flux. But it is in these spaces between – some perhaps just six metres wide – that the characters find renewed hope for love and acceptance.”

Six Metres of Pavement wins a Lammy!

Wow, that was pretty much the best night of my life. The 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards was all glam with queer actors, authors and supporters in attendance. I had a fannish moment with Armistead Maupin and got to meet Susan Stinson and Leslea Newman. Ally Sheedy even posed in a photo with me.

Me and Ally Sheedy at the Lammys

The category in which I was short-listed was next-to-last on the night’s agenda, which meant that I sat in a state of mild anxiety all night. Luckily I was flanked by Kristyn Dunnion and Ivan E Coyote (both finalists and talented writers/performers).

When Ally Sheedy announced that Six Metres of Pavement had won, I had one of those surreal moments (dream? reality? am I really supposed to be able to move my legs and walk up to the stage?). I did manage to climb the steps, kiss and handshake the right people, and pull out my crumpled notes.

In my stunned state, I think I added “oh fuck” to the beginning of my acceptance speech. I ended my on-stage ramblings by coming on to (all 3) of the Brooklyn Bois.

Thanks to my friends and family for all their support and well wishes. Most of all thanks to the Lambda Literary Foundation and The Dundurn Group for making this all possible.

Cover Girl

This month, I’m on the cover of South Asian Generation Next. This newspaper is available at most downtown Toronto subways and suburban South Asian restaurants. It’s an honour to be their cover girl!

South Asian Generation Next Cover

South Asian Generation Next Cover

It’s getting lots of attention for its saucy headline. Check out the online version here.


2011 Round-Up

It’s 9pm on December 31st, and I’m waiting to go out to the first of two NYE house parties tonight.

2011 has been a fantastic year, and I’m grateful to my friends, family and readers for making it so fabulous.

Some  highlights:

-Six Metres of Pavement was released in March and received great reviews

-I received the prestigious Dayne Ogilvie Grant from the Writers Trust of Canada

-I was the writer in residence for Open Book: Toronto in September. I blogged on all things literary.

-I was invited to read at the Vancouver International Writers Festival

-I toured–all over Canada, Texas, and New Orleans

-Six Metres of Pavement received a Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction

NOW Magazine named Six Metres of Pavement one of its Top Ten Books of 2011

What’s next for 2012? I’ll be touring some more. In January, I’ll head to LA and in March, along with Vivek Shraya, I’ll read all over the NE United States (stay tuned for more on our “God Loves Pavement, Two Brown Authors Hit the Road” tour).

Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement will be published by Rupa in India (release sometime this summer) and I’m thrilled to be able to travel there to do some touring too.

Finally, I’m working on an ending and edits to my third novel, tentatively titled “All Inclusive”, a novel inspired by my love-hate relationship with all-inclusive resorts and monogamy.

It’s time to put on some lipstick and sequins. Happy New Year, all!

Half of a cross country tour! Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver

By a stroke of luck and the help of friends, my next round of touring will take me across the country in a way that almost seems coordinated! Thanks to The Dundurn Group, The Writers Union of Canada, and the Vancouver International Writers Festival for helping me with my travel costs. And of course, thanks to the organizers of these events for making it all happen.

If you’re in Montreal, Edmonton, or Vancouver, come say hello!

The [Not-So] Local Legends Reading Series, Wednesday October 19th, 2011 / Doors @ 7pm, Starts at 7:30pm promptly, The Concordia Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop Street, Montreal (Metro Guy-Concordia)

Exposure, Queer Arts Festival, Edmonton, Thursday, October 20th, 6:30-8pm, Leva Bar

Vancouver International Writers’ Festival, Saturday October 22, 2pm and 8pm. I’ll be  on two different panels. Check out the fest’s full schedule here.

Autumn events

I’m looking forward to a couple of festival appearances this fall:

Word on the Street (Toronto), Sunday September 25th, 11am. I’ll be part of a panel called, “Toronto as Muse: Books Inspired by the City We Love”. Click here for more info about this fabulous event.

Vancouver International Writers’ Festival, Saturday October 22, 2pm and 8pm. I’ll be  on two different panels. Check out the fest’s full schedule here.

If you’re in either of these cities, I hope to see you there!

British Columbia!

Touring is a tricky thing for authors. On the one hand, it can be a lot of fun to check out new places and meet readers. It’s also risky. Travel is expensive and you never know how events will turn out. Sometimes the room is full and you sell plenty of books. Sometimes the media takes interest and helps to spread the word. Sometimes not (for both).

Despite these huge unknowns, I’m excited about my upcoming summer trip to Victoria and Vancouver. July is supposed to be the very best weather for this western province (which already has better weather than Ontario). Plus, I’m going to see some old friends and attend some great events.

On July 23rd, I’ll be at Cadboro Bay Books in Victoria. We’ll be sitting out on the terrace. Join us for book conversation, refreshments and sunshine from 7-9pm.

I’ll be visiting the iconic Vancouver bookstore,  Little Sister’s for a second time (they hosted me back in 2007) on July 26th, 7-9pm.

After that, I’ll be attending the Salaam Queer Muslim Community’s Inshirah Conference July 28-30th. All are welcome to attend. I’ll be reading/hosting an open mic on July 29th at 6pm and will be attending Vancouver’s Pride Celebrations with Salaam on August 1st.

I hope to see some of you there!

A human mistake

Each year, there are a number of tragic news stories about “hot car deaths”–too many really. A few friends sent me this one, about Elena Petrizzi, who recently died after being forgotten in her father’s car, and so I thought I’d comment on it.

It was a similar story that first inspired Ismail’s character in my novel, Six Metres of Pavement. I wondered how a father in this situation could manage to go on with his life after making the absolute worst mistake a person can make.

Through my continued reading on the subject, I came to understand that such a mistake is a truly human one, a mistake caused often by sleep deprivation, distraction, schedule changes. None of us would ever want to see ourselves making such a fatal error, but any of us could. I don’t think the majority of these cases are of a criminal nature, or that parents should be charged with manslaughter, as Lucio Petrizzi was. My heart goes out to he and his family as they recover from this heartbeak.

Leaving Del Rio

It’s been dry for seven months. On the way in from Del Rio International Airport, my father told us that the local church congregations have been saying rain prayers all spring.

Dad, my step-mother and younger siblings moved here almost ten years ago. Del Rio is his long-awaited escape from Southern Ontario winters, a Texas border town just 3 miles from Mexico. I’ve visited a number of times over the years; its low-key charm and arid climate make it a good vacation spot and writing retreat for me.

I toured Stealing Nasreen through here three years ago and am back with Six Metres of Pavement for a couple of readings, a book signing and a creative writing workshop. Each event has been attended by welcoming, interested readers, people who asked lots of questions about writing process, and the characters and setting in Six Metres of Pavement. They wanted to know about Toronto, Ismail’s mistake, Celia’s agonias. Del Rio is a frontier town with an artist’s heart.

It’s now a week later, and my partner and I wait at the airport. There are only two outbound flights a day, and ours has been grounded due to a thunderstorm with hail the “size of golf balls”. The airport staff have made us coffee, and changed the channel in the waiting room to Disney to entertain the children. They got the rain they prayed for after all.

Dad at Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Del Rio