Manjushree Thapa

Manjushree Thapa's latest novel is
All of Us in Our Own Lives
She is currently at work on a novel and a mixed-media work of nonfiction.

Other Work

Other Work
Readings and Lectures

Jaipur Literature Festival, Toronto, September 28, 2019: ‘These Lands We Call Home’

The Festival of Literary Diversity, Brampton, May 4, 2019: ‘The World is Here’

Canadian Writers Summit, June 16, 2018: ‘Good Reasons for Translating and Publishing International Literature in Canada’

Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur, January 25 and 27, 2019: South Asia: Walls and Bridges’, ‘Translations: An Equal Music’ and ‘Everything is Fiction’; January 18 and 19, 2014: ‘Seasons of Flight’ and ‘Losing Himalayan Languages’; January 22 and 23, 2011: ‘Imaginary Homelands’ and ‘Nepal: In Search of a Song’; and January 24, 2009: ‘Writing about Insurgency’

Nepal Literature Festival, Pokhara, December 26, 2016: ‘Translating Indra Bahadur Rai’

Goa Arts and Literature Festival, Goa, December 6-8, 2018: ‘Literary Lives’

PEN Hong Kong, Hong Kong, November 28, 2018: ‘The Inner Life: How Fiction Illuminates Human Rights’

Toronto International Festival of Authors, October 21, 2018: ‘Safar: Journeys to South Asia’

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, October 13, 2018: ‘The Border in Our Bodies’

Nepal Studies Initiative at University of Washington, Seattle, April 19, 2018: ‘How Not to Narrate a Nation'

Himalaya Program, University of British Columbia, November 20, 2017: ‘Voices of Contemporary Himalayan Literature: Manjushree Thapa and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa in Conversation’

Keynote Speaker at the Himalayan Studies Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, September 1, 2017: ‘The Stories We Hear and the Stories We Don’t’

Jaipur Literature Festival at Boulder, Colorado, September 18-20, 2015: ‘Seasons of Flight,’ and ‘Our Nepal'

College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, USA, July 27, 2015, ‘New Nepali Literature;’ July 26, 2011, ‘Secularism in Nepali Literature;’ and July 28, 2008, ‘To Be a Nepali Writer’

Institute for Asian Studies, Portland State University, Portland, April 30, 2015: ‘Nepali Literature'

Toronto International Book Festival, Toronto, November 16, 2014: Reading from 'Seasons of Flight'

South Asia Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, September 19, 2014, ‘Imagining Interdependence’

Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, February 7, 2014, ‘Reimagining the Nepali Self’

National Cathedral School, Washington, DC, January 24, 2014, ‘Equal Citizens of the World’

Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur, India, January 18 and 19, 2014: ‘Seasons of Flight’ and ‘Losing Himalayan Languages’; January 22 and 23, 2011: ‘Imaginary Homelands’ and ‘Nepal: In Search of a Song’; and January 24, 2009: ‘Writing about Insurgency’

FSALA Toronto Literature of Literature and the Arts, Toronto, May 4, 2013: ‘Thinking Globally, Writing Locally’

Talks about Girl Rising at screenings by the Canadian International Council, Toronto, October 29, 2013; Linden School, TIFF Lightbox, Toronto, September 24, 2013; Girls20, TIFF Lightbox, Toronto, June 6, 2013; and US Embassy, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, May 15, 2013.

Institute for South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore, August 3, 2012, ‘Fiction at a Time of Revolution’

India China Center, The New School, NY, September 4, 2009: ‘Nepali Literature in Translation’

University of California Long Beach, California, USA, May 3, 2008: ‘The Maoists in Nepal’

Mukkula Writers’ Reunion, Lahti, Finland, June 17-19, 2007: ‘Beauty and Horror’

Stiftung Gartenflugel, Ziegelbrucke, Switzerland, July 1, 2007: ‘Nepal’s Peace Process’

Helvetas General Assembly, Zurich, Switzerland, June 30, 2007: ‘Democracy in Nepal’

South Asian Women Writers’ Colloquium, Women’s World India, New Delhi, India, February 21-23, 2007: ‘Writing amid Revolution’

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, April 11, 2006: ‘Writing Human Rights’

Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA, April 5, 2006: ‘The Writer and Social Responsibility’

Zubaan and the India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India, April 8, 2005: ‘Words of Women’

Britain-Nepal Academic Council, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK, October 14, 2004: ‘The Women Writers of Nepal’

The Age Melbourne Writers' Festival, Melbourne, Australia, August 2003: ‘Short Stories, Big Ideas’ and ‘South Asian Women Writers’

UK-South Asian Women Writers' Conference, British Council, New Delhi, India: February 16-21, 2003: ‘Mapping Contexts’ and ‘Publishing Across Borders’

Awards and Grants

Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, 2022
Creative grant towards a mixed-media book in progress.

Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, 2018 and 2021
Creative grant towards a novel-in-progress

Toronto Arts Council, Toronto, 2012
Creative grant towards a novel-in-progress.

Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, 2012 and 2008
Creative grant towards a novel, All Of Us in Our Own Lives. Winner of the Joseph S Stauffer prize in 2008.

Toronto Arts Council, Toronto, 2012
Creative grant towards a novel, All Of Us in Our Own Lives.

Finalist, Lettre Ulysses Award, Berlin, 2006
Forget Kathmandu was shortlisted for this nonfiction award.

Center for Investigative Journalism, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2002
Fellowship to report on women's experience in the war in Nepal.

Fulbright Fellowship, 1996-1998
Fellowship for a Master of Fine Arts in English (Fiction) at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Writing Residencies

The Banff International Literary Translation Centre, The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, May-June 2016.

The Writers Trust of Canada, Berton House Writers’ Retreat, Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, October-December 2011.

Goethe Institute, Berlin, Germany, November 2007.

Hedgebrook, Whidbey Island, Washington, USA, June – August 2006: Hochstadt Award.

The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA, April – May 2006: Friends’ Fellowship.

The Espy Foundation, Oysterville, Washington, USA, March 2006.

Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre, Marnay-sur-Seine, France, November 2005 – February 2006: UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries Laureate, 2005.


Manjushree Thapa
Manjushree Thapa writes fiction and nonfiction, and translates Nepali literature into English.

Manjushree’s latest novel is All Of Us in Our Own Lives, described by the Telegraph as “an evocative tale of loss - not only personal loss but also a loss of identity - and of ways in which connections forged with strangers can help one grow roots.” Before this, she published the English translation of Indra Bahadur Rai’s classic novel of post-Independence Darjeeling, There’s a Carnival Today .

Her previous novel, Seasons of Flight, is about a Nepali woman who wins a US green card in a lottery and moves to Los Angeles. It was praised by India Today as “a great read from a distinctive and elegant writer.” Her short story collection Tilled Earth centres on the everyday lives of Nepalis and the Nepali diaspora. Her first novel, The Tutor of History, is set during an election in Nepal. An author recording has been archived by the South Asian Literary Recording Project at the US Library of Congress.

Manjushree’s most recent nonfiction book is The Lives We Have Lost, a collection of her reportages and editorials on Nepal’s Maoist war and peace process. Previously she wrote A Boy from Siklis, a biography of her mentor, the groundbreaking environmentalist Chandra Gurung. Forget Kathmandu is her personal account of Nepal’s history and current affairs, with reportage on the Maoist insurgency. It was praised by Newsweek as “deeply moving and very funny,” and was a finalist in the Lettre Ulysses Award in 2006. Manjushree’s first book was a travelogue to villages near Nepal’s border with Tibet, Mustang Bhot in Fragments.

Her short stories have appeared in US and South Asian literary magazines, and she wrote a story for Girl Rising, a film about girls from around the world by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins. Her story about Suma, a former slave girl who liberates other girls like her, was narrated by actor Kerry Washington.

Manjushree’s essays and editorials have appeared in New York Times, London Review of Books, Newsweek, Globe and Mail , and other publications in the US, UK, Canada, India and Nepal. Her books have been translated into French, German, Finnish, Italian, Japanese and Nepali.

As a literary translator, she has translated Indra Bahadur Rai’s iconic novel Aaja Ramita Chha/There’s a Carnival Today into English. She edited and introduced selections of Nepali literature for the literary magazines La.Lit and Words Without Borders. She translated stories and poems by 49 Nepali writers in The Country is Yours. She co-edited, introduced and translated Nepali literature in Secret Places: New Writing from Nepal , and she translated a collection of short stories by Nepali writer Ramesh Vikal in A Leaf in a Begging Bowl.

Manjushree has lectured at Cornell University, University of Toronto, National Gallery of Canada, National University of Singapore, College of the Holy Cross, New School, University of California Long Beach, Duke University, School of Oriental and African Studies and elsewhere. She has appeared at literary events such the Toronto International Book Festival, Jaipur Literature Festival, Mukkula Writers’ Reunion and Melbourne Writers' Festival.

She has served on the juries of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction in Toronto and the True Story Award in Bern. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, who awarded her the Joseph S Stauffer prize in 2008. She reported on women in Nepal’s Maoist war with a grant from the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Kathmandu, and received a Fulbright fellowship to study creative writing. She has also been awarded residencies from the Writers’ Trust of Canada, the Goethe Institute, Hedgebrook, Ragdale, the Espy Foundation and UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries.

In addition to working as a columnist in the past, Manjushree has researched and written for aid and non-government organizations in Nepal. She has designed and run writing and translation workshops and has been involved in a number of cultural and intellectual institutions such as Himal, Martin Chautari and Gallery Nine in Kathmandu, and the Toronto Nepali Film Festival in Toronto.

Before she became a writer she was the project manager of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project’s office in Lo Monthang, Mustang, and as the Picture Editor of Himal in Kathmandu. During this time she was witness to the revolution in political consciousness that followed Nepal’s transition to democracy 1990. Her early experience in Nepal has informed much of her later writing.

Manjushree received a Master of Fine Arts in English (Fiction) at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied with Maya Sonenberg, Shawn Wong, David Shields and Charles Johnson. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, and a high school degree from National Cathedral School in Washington, DC.

She was born in Kathmandu, and raised in Nepal, Canada and the United States. Her family also lived in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Switzerland and India at various periods. She lives in Toronto.


Professional Queries

Carolyn Forde
Transatlantic Agency
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 3500
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 1A8

Phone: +1 (416) 964-3302
Fax: +1 (416) 975-9209

Site Designed and Maintainted by RT