Congratulations on the publication of NOWHERE, EXACTLY: ON IDENTITY AND BELONGING by MG Vassanji publishing today from Doubleday Canada!

From one of Canada’s most celebrated writers, two-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji, comes a thoughtful meditation on what it means to belong in the world.

Home is never a single place, entirely and unequivocally. It is contingent. The abstract “nowhere,” then, is the true home.

M.G. Vassanji has been exploring the immigrant experience for over three decades, drawing deeply on his own transnational upbringing and intimate understanding of the unique challenges and perspectives born from leaving one’s home to resettle in a new land. The question of identity, of how to configure and see oneself within this new land, is one such challenge faced. But Vassanji suggests that a more fundamental and slippery endeavour than establishing one’s identity is how, if ever, we can establish a sense of belonging. Can we ever truly belong in this new home? Did we ever truly belong in the home we left? Where exactly do we belong? For many, the answer is nowhere exactly. 

Combining brilliant prose, thoughtful, candid observation, and a lifetime of exploring how we as individuals are shaped by the places and communities in which we live and the history that haunts them, Nowhere, Exactly examines with exquisite sensitivity the space between identity and belonging, the immigrant experience of both loss and gain, and the weight of memory and nostalgia, guilt and hope felt by so many of those who leave their homes in search of new ones.

M.G. Vassanji is the author of ten novels, three collections of short stories, a travel memoir about India, a memoir of East Africa, and a biography of Mordecai Richler. He is twice winner of the Giller Prize (1994, 2003) for best work of fiction in Canada; the Governor General’s Prize (2009) for best work of nonfiction; the Harbourfront Festival Prize; the Commonwealth First Book Prize (Africa, 1990); and the Bressani Prize. The Assassin’s Song was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Prize, the Writers Trust Award, and India’s Crossword Prize. Nostalgia, his dystopian novel, was a finalist for CBC’s Canada Reads. His work has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Swahili. Vassanji has given lectures worldwide and written many essays, including introductions to the works of Robertson Davies, Anita Desai, and Mordecai Richler, and the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. In June 2015, MG Vassanji was awarded the Canada Council Molson Prize for the Arts.

M.G. is represented by Carolyn Forde.