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Shekhar Paleja

Shekhar Paleja was born in India and moved with his family to Canada when he was eight years of age. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a BA in Theatre. In addition to acting, Paleja has published two non-fiction books for children with Annick Press. In a personal essay published in the Globe and Mail entitled “Why I Decided to Stop Whitewashing My Name” (21 November 2016) he explains that his name is pronounced SHAY-kher. He lives in Vancouver.


An Extraordinary Destiny

Victoria, BC: Brindle & Glass Publishing, 2017.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

It’s 1947 in Lahore, and the Sharma family is forced to flee their home during the violence of the Partition of India. As the train tracks measure the ever-growing distance between Varoon and his mother, who vanished during the panic to escape, the boy is thrust towards an uncertain future.

Forty years later, Varoon’s grown son, Anush, desperately tries to disentangle himself from his father’s demands, which are mired in grief and whiskey. Compounding the pressure is an unusually auspicious kundali—a Vedic birth chart—which threatens to suffocate Anush with lofty expectations. But when he meets Nasreen, he feels he may finally be experiencing the incredible fate foretold. Until his father interferes and blocks his chance at true happiness.

Threading artfully through three generations of an Indian family, An Extraordinary Destiny crafts an intricate narrative that reveals, in layers, how decades-old grief rooted in the trauma of history, and couched in familial duty and custom, threaten to sever the sacred connection between ancestors and descendants.


Shekhar Paleja page in the database.

Publisher Brindle & Glass Publishing (now a literary imprint of TouchWood Editions)

Publisher Annick Press