Moyez G. Vassanji (Moyez Gulamhussein Vassanji) Biography
(1950– ), (Moyez Gulamhussein Vassanji), The Gunny Sack, No New Land, The Book of Secrets, Uhuru Street
Kenyan novelist, born in Nairobi, a member of Kenya's long-established Indian community; he emigrated to the USA in 1970, where he was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1978 he began working as a nuclear physicist with Atomic Energy of Canada, then taught at the University of Toronto until 1989. The Gunny Sack (1989), his highly acclaimed first novel, uses a richly textured episodic form to recount the movements of four generations of his family following their migration from India to East Africa in the mid-nineteenth century. Its successor, No New Land (1991), forms a powerful treatment of exile and dispossession in the lives of an immigrant community in Toronto following their flight from political upheaval in Africa. The Book of Secrets (1994) encompasses the historical, political, and cultural history of East Africa from the First World War to the late 1980s through the interweaving of its many narrative elements. His other works include the short stories of Uhuru Street (1991). Vassanji is the editor of the Toronto South Asian Review, which he founded in 1982.