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 became interested in community organizing as a teen (primarily environmental issues, gender violence and LGBTTTIQ rights). From 2009-18, she curated the Brockton Writers Series and has been a volunteer with The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Writers’ Trust. She currently volunteers with WeSpeakOut, a global group that is working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community. Farzana is also the Maasi behind Dear Maasi, a new sex and relationships column for FGM/C survivors. She co-founded the End FGM Canada Network.
She studied social work in the early nineties and has been a 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.
She 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 and appeared many 2020 Best Book lists, and shortlisted for the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. Her poetry collection, You Still Look The Same, was just released in May 2022.
She has also received the following awards for her writing and activism: 2021 Choice Award from Planned Parenthood; 2022 McMaster University Alumni Gallery Inductee; 2023 Freedom to Read Award from The Writers’ Union of Canada.
While all her books are distinct from one another, some common themes include loss, relationships, community, healing, racism, LGBT rights, diasporic identity and feminism. She seamlessly blends strong stories with social justice issues.
She has just finished work on a YA novel and is editing a new self-care workbook. She is represented by Rachel Letofsky of CookeMcDermid.
She’s an amateur Tarot card reader and has a love of spirituality, energy psychology, hypnosis and neuroscience. She’s also a dog person and has been volunteering with the local dog shelter.
She lives with her partner near the lake in South Etobicoke, the traditional territory of the Haudenosauneega, Anishinabek and Huron-Wendat peoples.