Farzana Doctor is a writer, activist, and psychotherapist. Her ancestry is Indian, and she was born in Zambia while her family was based there for five years, before immigrating to Canada in 1971.


Farzana Doctor

Farzana has been writing all of her life, but it became a more regular practice around 2000 when she began writing her first novel, Stealing Nasreen, which was published by Inanna in 2007.  Her second novel, Six Metres of Pavement, won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the 2012 Toronto Book Award. In 2017, it was voted the One Book One Brampton 2017 winner. Her third novel, All Inclusive, was a Kobo 2015 and National Post Best Book of the Year. Her fourth novel, Seven, was chosen as the Amnesty International Readers’ Choice, appeared in many 2020 Best Book lists, and was shortlisted for the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. Her poetry collection, You Still Look The Same, was released in 2022 and received critical acclaim.

In March 2024, she released 52 Weeks to a Sweeter Life, a self and community workbook for activists, helpers and caregivers. In September 2024, she released her first YA novel, The Beauty of Us

While all her books are distinct from one another, some common themes include loss, relationships, community, healing, racism, 2SLGBTQ rights, diasporic identity and feminism. She seamlessly blends strong stories with social justice issues.

She has also received the following awards for her writing and activism: 2021 Choice Award from Planned Parenthood2022 McMaster University Alumni Gallery Inductee2023 Freedom to Read Award from The Writers’ Union of Canada. Over the past two decades, she’s also periodically received writing grants and gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

She is represented by Rachel Letofsky of CookeMcDermid.

Farzana became interested in community organizing as a teen. She currently volunteers with WeSpeakOut, a global group working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community. Farzana was also the Maasi behind Dear Maasi, a sex and relationships column for FGM/C survivors. She co-founded the End FGM Canada Network. She’s also a dog person and loves volunteering with the local dog shelter.

She studied social work in the early nineties and has been a Registered Social Worker ever since. She worked in a variety of community agencies and a hospital before starting part-time private practice, where she sees individuals and couples and provides supervision to other social workers.

She lives with her partner near Lake Ontario in Tkaronto, Ancestral Traditional Territories of the Ojibway, the Anishnabe and, in particular, the Mississauga’s of the New Credit. She encourages all settlers to support the Indigenous-led Land Back Movement.

Why Farzana Doctor isn’t searching for perfect happiness

Farzana Doctor on CBC's The Next Chapter