M.G. Vassanji, an author of international standing, gave a book reading at the Institute on 8 April, 2010. He read from his latest book, A Place Within, a travel memoir of his visits to India. An earlier book, The Gunny Sack has been a set text for the Literature of Muslim Societies module of the IIS’ Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities.
Mr Vassanji was born in Nairobi, Kenya and lived in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He later moved to America where he studied Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he gained a PhD. Moving to Canada in 1978, he continued his career in physics until his first novel, The Gunny Sack, was published in 1989. Since then, he has published a number of novels, including The Book of Secrets (1993) and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (2003), both of which won the Giller Prize. His books deal with history and memory as well as immigration and diaspora between three continents, Asia, Africa and America.
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