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Sohan S. Koonar

Sohan S. Koonar was born in rural Punjab, India and moved with his parents to Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now part of Tanzania) when he was still a young child. He returned to India to study but eventually immigrated to Canada, settling in Ontario. Koonar is a physiotherapist, entrepreneur, and inventor turned story-teller. He self-published his first book, Karam’s Kismet, that is available as a Kindle edition. It features a young member of the untouchable caste that emigrates to North America. Despite success in a new land, “his fellow Indians continue to view him through the lens of caste and tradition.”


Paper Lions: A Novel

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2019.
PS8621.O64 P37 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of their faraway homeland, but her daughter sees magic in everything — the clouds in the winter sky, the “firework” display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all.

Told from three distinct points of view, Paper Lions is an epic multi-generational novel about India, set in the years from the advent of the Second World War to the beginning of modern times in the 1960s. War brings opportunities and wealth to some; Independence ushers in great hope for the future; and the nation’s Partition brings along horrors, during which fortunes are made and lost, homes destroyed and abandoned, people slaughtered. The years roll on, a new generation arrives. In the locality of Raikot, Punjab, the three main characters—Bikram, Basanti, and Ajit—and the people around them, including two newly arrived nomadic tribes, the Bajigars, endure hardships and despair, and find moments of joy, as they face life’s challenges. Poignant, tragic, and at the same time exhilarating, Paper Lions brings historical India to itself in the lives of its characters. Through their struggles India comes of age, as they do.


Publisher Mawenzi House

Sohan Koonar personal website