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Vassanji, Moyez

indian british toronto book

(Kenyan, 1950– )

Vassanji was born to Indian parents in Nairobi, and was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Toronto, where he lectured until 1989. Begin with The Gunny Sack (1989), in which an assortment of curios left to a boy forms the source of stories about the coming of Indians to East Africa from the late nineteenth century onwards. No New Land (1991) takes up where the previous book ends, as political conditions force the Asian population to flee. Those who head for Canada establish a new Indian community in Toronto. In The Book of Secrets (1994) a retired teacher edits the diary of a British colonial officer in Dar es Salaam in 1913–14. It records interactions between the British and Indian communities and a mysterious relationship with a visionary native woman.

V. S. Naipaul, Rohinton Mistry  DH

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