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Neil Bissoondath

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Neil Bissoondath


York University

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Neil Devindra Bissoondath (born April 19, 1955, in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago) is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who lives in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He is a noted writer of fiction. He is an outspoken critic of Canada's system of multiculturalism and is the nephew of authors V.S. Naipaul and Shiva Naipaul, grandson of Seepersad Naipaul, grandnephew of Rudranath Capildeo and Simbhoonath Capildeo, and cousin of Vahni Capildeo.


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Life and career

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Bissoondath attended St. Mary's College in Trinidad and Tobago, where he was born in Arima. Although he was from a Hindu tradition, he was able to adapt to a Catholic high school. He describes himself as not very religious and distrustful of dogma. In the early 1970s, political upheaval and economic collapse had created a climate of chaos and violence in the island nation.

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In 1973, at the age of 18, Bissoondath left Trinidad and settled in Ontario, where he studied at York University and received a Bachelor of Arts in French in 1977. He then taught English and French at the Inlingua School of Languages and the Toronto Language Workshop. He won the McClelland and Stewart award and the National Magazine award, both in 1986, for the short story "Dancing".


Bissoondath has received honorary doctorates from Glendon College, York University and Université de Moncton. In 2010 he was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec. In 2012, he was awarded the NALIS (National Library of Trinidad and Tobago) Lifetime Literary Achievement Award.


Neil Bissoondath Wikipedia