Shani Mootoo is an internationally exhibited visual artist, videographer, photographer, and the author of four previously critically acclaimed novels (Moving Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki’s Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night), as well as a book of short stories and a volume of poetry. She brings a fifth novel, Polar Vortex, to this year’s festival. In both her art and her writing, Shani is intrigued by the shifting nature of perspective. Her fiction explores the experience of dislocation, questions of desire and identity, and the relations of these to belonging and family.

Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing) praises Polar Vortex as “a powerfully unsettling work from a brilliant artist.” As Globe and Mail reviewer, Jade Corbett reveals, it is a novel about “…how secrets always come back to get us – especially the secrets we’ve managed to keep from ourselves.”

Born in Dublin, Ireland, raised in Trinidad, and educated in Canada at Western University and the University of Guelph, Shani has lived in Vancouver and Toronto but now makes her home in Prince Edward County.


Appearing in: 17. Couple Cold Snap: Fiction