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Mariam Pirbhai

Mariam Pirbhai was born in Pakistan and lived in England and the Philippines prior to settling in Canada. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Montreal. Her dissertation is entitled: The Multiple Voices of Indenture History: The South Asian Diasporic Novel in English. Now a resident of Waterloo, Ontario, Pirbhai is a faculty member in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of English and Film Studies. She writes academic works about postcolonial and diaspora studies. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals.Pirbhai’s essay collection, Garden Inventories: Reflections on Land, Place and Belonging will be published in the fall of 2023 by Wolsak & Wynn.


Isolated Incident

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2022.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

When a rock, a threatening letter, and a burning Quran are thrown into a mosque on the outskirts of Toronto, religious leaders and the police shrug it off as an isolated incident. But many see it as a hate crime. Among them is Kashif Siddiqui, the son of Pakistani immigrants. Kashif joins a group of volunteers at an Islamic Cultural Centre on a security watch during the festive Eid night, a potential target of another attack. When an attack materializes, Eid night becomes a test of friendship, family, and faith for the community; it also ends in near-tragedy and a declaration of love and reconciliation.

Fiction (Short stories)

Outside People and Other Stories

Toronto: Inanna Publications and Education, 2017.
PS8631 .I73 O98 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A Haitian woman survives the ravages of an earthquake only to find her sister, an émigré in Montreal, the subject of a grisly crime. A chambermaid in a Mexican tourist resort frequented by Canadian tourists wonders why all the men in her life seem to leave her for distant lands. A Jamaican migrant worker at an Ontario chicken farm comes to the aid of his Peruvian co-worker on the eve of a fatal car accident. And a young Pakistani-Canadian woman finds herself in the midst of a protest march defending Muslim women’s rights on the same day she has agreed to meet her Moroccan lover. The diverse cast of characters that energize Mariam Pirbhai’s Outside People and Other Stories not only reflects a multicultural Canada but also the ease with which this striking debut collection inhabits the voices and perspectives of nation, hemisphere, and world.


Anthology (Short stories)

Her Mother’s Ashes 3: Stories by South Asian Women in Canada and the United States

PS8329.1 .H45 2009

Pirbhai, Mariam. “Air Raids.” In Her Mother’s Ashes 3, edited by Nurjehan Aziz. Toronto: Tsar, 2009, 114-123.
A revised version of this stories appears in Outside People and Other Stories.


Mariam Pirbhai faculty page at Wilfrid Laurier University

Publisher Inanna Publications

Publisher Mawenzi House