Farida Somjee receives 2017 Fiction Award at the 16th Annual Whistler Writers Festival

Farida Somjee receives 2017 Fiction Award at the 16th Annual Whistler Writers Festival
Farida Somjee

Tanzanian novel wins in Whistler

Farida Somjee received the 2017 Fiction Award at the 16th Annual Whistler Writers Festival. (Paul Shore was named the non-fiction winner for his memoir, Uncorked: My Year in Provence.) The Whistler Independent Book Awards are described as the only juried awards for self-publishing in Canada, with each nominee being individually assessed by judges from the Canadian Authors Association (Metro Vancouver), and the finalists selected by a distinguished team of judges.

“The Beggar’s Dance is a challenging and captivating novel,” said Gail Anderson-Dargatz, a Giller Prize finalist and judge of the Fiction Award. “The real strength of this novel is in Somjee’s portrayal of the secondary characters’ heartache and joy, and how Juma, unwittingly or with purpose, orchestrates change within his community.”

Read full story: https://bcbooklook.com/2017/11/05/tanzanian-novel-wins-in-whistler/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1481892010

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

3 thoughts

    1. Congratulations, Farida. Mubaraki even since “our” people are not much into writing and even heartier congrats since you are tackling quite a “daring” theme, given that that we East African Asians (I am Ugandan Asian) saw poverty all around us but never tried to think what the poor people’s lives were like. You went deep into their lives. Warning: Commercial coming! I myself have just finished my self-publish book on us Uganda Asians at 2340 pages, 2m words, after 10.6 years. It’s ORALSTORICAL about our lives in Uganda from 1870 to 1972 and 1972 to now, 1972 being the Uganda Asian expulsion. There are >500 stories in people’s own words, from interviews and submissions. At an academic level in the earlier chapters I do take note of the income inequality and poverty that existed all around us and that in fact was a cause of the expulsion. If I tried doing a novel I’d’ve lots about a parallel African family. Senator Mobina, a family friend to all my sisters, has just today promised that my book will be tabled at the Canadian Senate and even presented to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Of course PET figures in the book for taking us to Canada, as do HH Aga Khan and Prince Sadruddin as head of UNHCR. My book should launch around March in Vancouver. Hope to meet you on the skiing heaven! Of course I will buy your book once I get to those parts and perhaps even review it in IsmailiMail and other serious media.


  1. Bravo Farida. The toil and hard work of more than a leap year has paid dividends. You’ve made all around yours near and dear once.. What next?


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