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Rabindranath Maharaj (born April 1955, in Trinidad), not to be confused with Rabindranath R. Maharaj, is a Trinidadian-Canadian novelist, short story writer, and a founding editor of the Canadian literary journal Lichen. His novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy won the 2010 Trillium Book Award and the 2011 Toronto Book Award, and several of his books have been shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and Caribbean Region), and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award.

Rabindranath Maharaj
BornRabindranath Maharaj
Trinidad and Tobago
Notable worksThe Amazing Absorbing Boy, A Perfect Pledge, Homer in Flight
Notable awardsToronto Book Award, Trillium Book Award

He was raised in George Village, Tableland in South Trinidad and Tobago.[1] After receiving a B.A. in English, an M.A. in English and History, and Diploma of Education from the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, he worked as a teacher and, briefly, as a columnist for the Trinidad Guardian.[2]

In the early 1990s, Maharaj immigrated to Canada, and in 1993, he completed a second M.A. (this one in Creative Writing) at the University of New Brunswick. In 1994 he moved to the town of Ajax, Ontario, where he taught high school[3] for a number of years. In 1998, Maharaj, along with three other Durham Region writers - Ruth E. Walker, Gwynn Scheltema, and Lucy Brennan - founded and co-edited Lichen Literary Journal, which was launched in May 1999. He remained on the editorial board for another three years.

Since then he has, among other posts, been a Writer in Residence at the Toronto Reference Library, the University of the West Indies. The University of New Brunswick, a mentor for young writers with Diaspora Dialogues, a faculty member at the Banff Writing Studio, and an instructor with the Humber College School for Writers, and the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Apart from his novels and collections of short stories, he has published work in various literary journals and anthologies; written book reviews and articles for The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and others; written a play for CBC Radio; and written two screenplays.

His newest novel, Fatboy Fall Down, is slated for publication in 2019.[4]

He continues to reside in Ajax, Ontario.




Rabindranath Maharaj talks about The Amazing Absorbing Boy on Bookbits radio.
  • Homer in Flight (1997) Goose Lane Editions (also available as an audiobook)
  • The Lagahoo's Apprentice (2000) Knopf Canada; and Turkey İşbank Culture Publications
  • A Perfect Pledge (2005) Knopf Canada; Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US; and Mouria Press, Netherlands
  • The Picture of Nobody (2010) Good Reads/HarperCollins Canada
  • The Amazing Absorbing Boy (2010) Knopf Canada
  • Adjacentland (2018) Buckrider Books/Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
  • Fatboy Fall Down (2019)

Short Story CollectionsEdit

  • The Interloper (1995) Goose Lane Editions
  • The Writer and His Wife (1996) Peepal Tree Press, UK
  • The Book of Ifs and Buts (2002) Vintage Canada

Anthologies (as contributor)Edit

  • AWOL : Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds (2003) Vintage Canada
  • Victory Meat - New Fiction in Atlantic Canada (2003) Anchor Canada
  • Reading Writers Reading - Canadian Authors' Reflections (2006) University of Alberta Press
  • TOK: Writing the New Toronto, book 2 (2007) Zephyr Press
  • City of Words (2009) Cormorant Books
  • Northwords (2012) House of Anansi Press

Radio PlaysEdit

  • Malcolm and Alvin (for CBC Radio)


  • Malini (co-writer)
  • Crabman and Sandbird (writer)

Awards, Prizes & NominationsEdit


  1. ^ Ryerson University Library & Archives "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2009-12-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) and CNQ Canadian Notes & Queries "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2009-12-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Interview with Ingrid Ruthig, Books in Canada September 2005
  3. ^ Interview with Rabindranath Maharaj, Maisonneuve February 2010
  4. ^ "28 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2019". CBC Books, January 25, 2019.

External linksEdit