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Sheila James

Sheila James was born in the United Kingdom to parents who were originally from India. She grew up in Nova Scotia and received a Diploma of Jazz Studies from St. Francis Xavier University. At York University in Toronto, James earned a BA(Hon.) in Music. She is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Theatre program at the University of British Columbia. In addition to publishing poetry and short fiction, James has experience in various aspects of theatre and is also a videographer. James lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


Fiction (Short stories)

In the Wake of Loss

Vancouver, B.C.: Ronsdale Press, 2009.
PS8619 .A655 I6 2009

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

This debut collection of short stories focuses on the conflicts and challenges experienced by diasporic South Asian characters who struggle to face truths about intimate relationships, often confronted by violence and always negotiating between the banal and the extraordinary events that shape their lives.



Fredericton, NB: Goose Lane Editions, 2024.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Perched out of sight in a tree beside the road, Malika, a communist resistance fighter, prepares to assassinate the new governor in a village in the recently independent India. As she prepares to shoot, she recognizes the man riding in the car and hesitates.

The man is Rayappa, who Malika had first met five years earlier in the village of Korampally. Both were deemed “untouchables”. Yet, Malika toiled as a servant in a landowner’s household while Rayappa worked for a visiting anthropologist.

Fifty years later, Rayappa, now living in Canada as Irwin Peter, receives a letter asking for information about Malika. When he decides to return to India with his family, he is forced to revisit Korampally’s turbulent history — and his own. The lingering legacy of the caste system, the brutal invasion of the kingdom of Hyderabad by the nascent Indian state, and the encounter between Irwin and Malika would all have profound consequences.


A Canadian Monsoon

Toronto: Playwrights Union of Canada, 1999.


Publisher Goose Lane Editions

Publisher Ronsdale Press

Sheila James biographical page from V Tape: The Source for Video and New Media