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Anita Rau Badami

Anita Rau Badami was born in India and immigrated to Canada with her husband and son in 1991. Badami completed a B.A. in English at Madras University and studied journalism at Sophia College in Bombay. She completed an M.A. at the University of Calgary, producing a novel for her thesis entitled “Railways and Ginger.” In addition to Calgary, Badami has lived in Vancouver, and Montreal.
In 2000 Badami was the recipient of the Marian Engel Award that recognizes a Canadian woman author in mid-career.


Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?

Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 2006.
PS8553 .A27 C36 2006

Publisher’s Synopsis

… tells the stories of three women, linked in love and tragedy, over a span of fifty years, sweeping from the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 to the explosion of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland in 1985.

Awards and Honours

2006 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction (Quebec Writers’ Federation)(Finalist)


The Hero’s Walk: A Novel

Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2000.
PS8553 .A27 H47 2000
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2001.
Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2002.

Awards and Honours

2000 Kiriyama Prize–Fiction (Finalist)
2001 Commonwealth Book Prize Best Book–Canada and Caribbean Region
2001 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (Nominated)
2005 Premio Giuseppe Berto (Winner) for Italian translation by Fabio Zucchella
2016 CBC Canada Reads (Finalist)

Publisher’s Synopsis (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

Steeped in the colors, customs, and sensuality of India, The Hero’s Walk presents a family in all its messy, glorious contradictions. With insight, humor, and compassion, The Hero’s Walk shows the potential for heroism in ordinary lives.


Tamarind Mem

Toronto: Viking, 1996.
Toronto: Penguin Books, 1997.
PS8553 .A27 T3 1998

Published in the U.S. under title: Tamarind Woman

Publisher’s Synopsis (from the Penguin Random House website)

Growing up in India, Kamini often found herself struggling to be noticed: noticed by her beloved, storytelling father, whose position as a railway officer took him away from home for long stretches of time; and noticed by her distant, distracted mother, Saroja, whose biting remarks earned her the nickname Tamarind Woman—and whose frequent disappearances while her husband was away led to whispers of dalliances and affairs.

Now Kamini is grown, living in Canada in a sort of self-imposed exile from her eccentric family and all the turmoil they represent. After her father’s death, her mother embarks upon a solo journey across India by train— because what is the use of a lifetime railway pass if she doesn’t use it? The trip brings the past rushing back for Saroja and Kamini—as both are forced to confront their dreams, disappointments, and long-guarded secrets.


Tell it to the Trees

Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2011.
PS8553 .A27 T44 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis

One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the front yard of the Dharma family’s house. It’s the body of their tenant, Anu Krishnan. Why had she, a stranger to the mountains, been foolish enough to go out into the blizzard? From this gripping opening, Anita Rau Badami threads together a story of love and need, and of chilling secrets never told aloud.

Closer to Home book cover


Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait

TR681 .A85 B97 2008

Byrnes, Terence. “Anita Rau Badami in Her Home.” In Byrnes, Terence. Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait. Montréal: Véhicule Press, 2008, 104-105.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Babcock, Rebecca. ““One Small Way”: Racism, Redress, and Reconciliation in Canadian Women’s Fiction,1980-2000.” Ph.D. diss., Dalhousie University, 2011. Accessed August 30, 2013.
Available as an open access dissertation from

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Anita Rau Badami.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 167.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017

Kandiuk, Mary. “Anita Rau Badami.” In Caribbean and South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bibliography of Their Works and of English-language Criticism. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2007, 7-8.
PS8089.5 .C37 K36 2007

Kuortti, Joel. “Diasporic Experiences: Anita Rau Badami’s The Hero’s Walk, Vineeta Vijayaraghavan’s Motherland: The Other Side of My Heart and Amulya Malladi’s The Mango Season.” In The Expatriate Indian Writing in English. Vol. 1, ed. T. Vinoda and P. Shailaja, 2006, 109-127.
PR9489.6 .E96 2006 v.1

Rahman, Shazia. “Resisting Women: Orientalism, Diaspora, and Gender.” Ph.D. diss., University of Alberta, 2002.

Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Rajan, Gita. “Poignant Pleasures: Feminist Ethics as Aesthetics in Jhumpa Lahiri and Anita Rao [sic] Badami.” In Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing, edited by Rocio G. Davis and Sue-Im Lee. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005, 104-120.
PS153 .A84 L58 2005


Badami Profile and Interview with Linda L. Richards in the August 2000 edition of January Magazine guide to The Hero’s Walk

Badami page on the Postcolonial Studies project website at Emory University

Publisher Knopf Canada (now an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)

Anita Rau Badami on Tell it to the Trees, part of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers,  episode “Anita Rau Badami, Brad Smith, Roy MacGregor” broadcast July 30, 2012.  First broadcast March 5, 2012.