Anita Rau Badami

About Anita

Anita Rau Badami was born in 1961 in India. Her father, who worked as a mechanical engineer and designed trains, was transferred every two or three years so that she had a mobile childhood.

She has always loved writing and sold her first short story when she was 18. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Madras, after which she studied Social Communications Media in Sophia College, Bombay. She worked as a copywriter for advertising agencies in Bombay, Bangalore and Madras, and freelanced for major Indian newspapers for several years. She also published stories in children’s magazines.

She moved to Canada in 1991 and in 1995 was awarded a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Calgary. Her graduate thesis became her first novel, Tamarind Mem, which was published worldwide in 1996.

Her bestselling second novel, The Hero’s Walk, won the Regional Commonwealth Writers Prize, Italy’s Premio Berto and was also named a Washington Post Best Book of 2001. It was also longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize. As well, she is the recipient of the Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career.


“Intoxicating…as jewel-bright and weightless as a silk sari shaken out of its folds…”

Tamarind Mem

“Engrossing …. Badami brilliantly brings to life a whole cast of [characters] …. The author masterfully captures the sights, smells and sounds of this lively world…

The Hero’s Walk

“Badami, a fluent and somewhat old-fashioned storyteller…. is to be commended for taking on this bitter subject, and for turning it not into a page-turning thriller but into a thoughtful, highly readable, and even slightly hopeful narrative. It deserves a wide readership.”

Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?

“Tell it to the Trees is heartwrenching, a touch frightening, and a major achievement by a remarkable author.”

Tell it to the Trees