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Feb 11, 2021

Anita, an Ottawa resident, describes the difference between Canadian writers and those in the US, how she channeled her own grief experience into her main character, how she believes writing is rewriting, and how embracing bookstagrammers was her single best marketing decision.


Kushwaha's road to publication included a fulfilling career in academia, where she studied human geography at Carleton University and earned an M.A. and a Ph.D as a Tri-council funded scholar, collaborating with Indigenous communities in the eastern Canadian Arctic and Ottawa on socio-cultural and environmental issues. A graduate of the Humber School for Writers creative writing program, her work has appeared in Ms. MagazineThe Globe and MailQuill and QuireThe Literary Review of CanadaThe 49th ShelfOpen BookWord on the StreetThe Ottawa Review of BooksOttawa Life Magazine, Apt613, Girly Book ClubBookTribSavvyMomCBC All in a Day, and Canadian Living among others. Her first novel, Side by Side, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Silver Medal for Multicultural Fiction in 2019. She is also the author of a novella, The Escape Artist. Her novel, Secret Lives of Mothers & Daughters, was released in January 2020 by HarperCollins Canada and selected as a March Book of the Month by Word on the Street, highlighted as a “Books with Buzz” by Canadian Living, selected as an “Editors’ Pick” by The 49th Shelf, and included in the “Crazy for CanLit” reading list curated by the Giller Prize Foundation. Themes in her work include exploring the social and cultural pressures faced by South Asian girls and women, immigrant experiences, diaspora, intergenerational conflict, identity, belonging, place, and mental health explored through a cultural lens. She is a member of the Canadian Authors Association, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and is the recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Literary Creations Grant. 

To learn more about Anita, click here.