Rohinton Mistry Wiki, Age, Family, Biography & More

Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry (born 1952) is an Indian Canadian writer, who has written several short stories, chapbooks, and novels like Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995), Family Matters (2002), Tales from Firozsha Baag (1987), Searching for Stevenson (1994), and The Scream (2006). The elements associated with Parsi culture in his writing are the history of emigration from Iran, the search for asylum in India, the colonial elitist attitude of the Parsis, and their sense of discomfort in a decolonised India.


Rohinton Mistry was born on Thursday, 3 July 1952 (age 71 years; as of 2023) in Bombay, India (now Mumbai). His zodiac sign is Cancer. In 1974, he graduated with a BA degree in Mathematics and Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay. In 1975, he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as a bank clerk. In 1982, he attained another BA degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Toronto (Woodsworth College). In a literary journal Rungh (1993), Mistry confessed the mindset of Indians towards higher education,

After finishing college in Bombay or elsewhere in India, one had to go abroad for higher studies. If possible, one had to find a job after finishing a Masters or a Ph.D. in the States or in England, find a job and settle in the country. That’s how success is defined by Indians. So that is why I say that coming to Canada was in some ways decided for me.”


He is a Zoroastrian Parsi whose ancestors were exiled by the Islamic conquest of Iran.

Parents & Siblings

His father, Behram Mistry was into advertising, and his mother, Freny Mistry, was a homemaker. His grandfather owned a bookshop. His brother, Cyrus Mistry, is an Indian playwright and award-winning novelist whose novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer won the DSC Prize for South Asian literature in 2014.

Cyrus Mistry

Rohinton Mistry’s brother, Cyrus Mistry

Wife & Children

Rohinton Mistry is married to Freny Elavia. In an interview, he talked about his wife and said,

I met my wife when we were both 19 or 20, at a music school where she was taking voice and piano lessons and I was doing classes in music theory and composition.”


Rohinton Mistry's signature


While Rohinton Mistry was studying at the University of Toronto, he won two Hart House literary prizes for stories published in the Hart House Review, and Canadian Fiction Magazines annual Contributor Award in 1985. In 1987, his collection of eleven short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag was published by Penguin Books, Canada, which was later published in the United States as Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag. It describes the daily life of the Parsi people in Bombay. The stories in the book are concerned with the tribulations of Parsis living in Bombay. His second novel, ‘Such a Long Journey’, was published in 1991, and won the Governor General’s Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award. 


  • Such a Long Journey (1991)
  • A Fine Balance (1995)
  • Family Matters (2002)

Short stories and chapbooks

  • Tales from Firozsha Baag (1987), also published as Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag (1989)
  • Searching for Stevenson (1994)
  • The Scream (2006)Family matters
    Such a Long Journey
    Tales From Firozshah Baag


The book against Bal Thackeray was withdrawn from the syllabus of Bachelor of Arts (English)

The content in his book Such a Long Journey (1991) caused a controversy in 2010, at Mumbai University because of the content written against Bal Thackeray (leader of Shiv Sena), and Maharashtrians. In 2007 – 2008, the book was in the syllabus of second year Bachelor of Arts (English) as an optional text, which was later withdrawn from the syllabus by Dr Rajan Welukar (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mumbai) by using emergency powers in the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994.

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • In 1983, Rohinton Mistry won the Hart House Literary Contest at The University of Toronto for his short story titled ‘One Sunday’, and for ‘Auspicious Occasion’ in 1984.
  • Rohinton Mistry won the Canadian Fiction Magazine’s annual Contributors Prize in 1985.
  • In 1991, Rohinton Mistry’s book Such a Long Journey (1991) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
  • 1991, Rohinton Mistry won the Governor General’s Award for his book Such a Long Journey (1991). In the same year, he won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and Trillium Award for his book titled Such a Long Journey.
  • In 1995, Rohinton Mistry won the Giller Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction for his book titled A Fine Balance (1995).
  • In 1996, he won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for his book titled A Fine Balance.
  • In 1996, Rohinton Mistry’s book titled A Fine Balance was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
  • In 2002 Rohinton Mistry’s book titled Family Matters was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In the same year, the book was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2004, the book was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.
  • In 2012, Rohinton Mistry won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.


  • His second book Such a Long Journey (1991) has been translated into different languages like, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Japanese.
  • In an interview conducted by Nermeen Shaikh of Asia Society, he talked about his favourite authors and said,

    At university, I remember reading Hard Times, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and I think that was it, really. I have not undertaken any special study, nor am I particularly drawn to these authors. In fact, if I were to choose my favorites, what I enjoy most, they would probably include some American writers, like Cheever, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Updike. Of course I do enjoy Chekhov and Turgenev – these 19th-century writers – but I do not have any special attachment to that period. But I’m not an expert in all this so if the critics think my writing is Dickensian or Tolstoyan I will thank them, and say I am flattered.” [1]Asia Society

  • In 2002, Rohinton Mistry and his wife were targeted by security agents at every airport because they thought that he was a Muslim, and he thus had to cancel his United States book tour for his novel Family Matters in 2002.
  • In his novel A Fine Balance, he said,

    Money can buy the necessary police order. Justice is sold to the highest bidder.”

  • His second book, Such a Long Journey (1991), was adapted for the 1998 film with the same title Such a Long Journey.
  • Rohinton Mistry has also experimented with linguistic hybridity in his writings, especially the short stories he has written.


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