In April of 2011, Gurjinder Basran was awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her first novel, Everything Was Goodbye. Mother Tongue Publishing subsequently sold Canadian rights to Penguin Canada and Everything Was Good-bye was re-launched in the spring of 2012 as a Penguin paperback and e-book.

Gurjinder Basran of Delta, B.C. studied creative writing at Simon Fraser University and The Banff Center for the Arts. Her work was shortlisted for's 2008 search for the Next Breakthrough Novel and earned her a place in the Vancouver Sun's annual speculative arts and culture article, "Ones To Watch."; A 2006 graduate of Simon Fraser University's Writer's Studio, Gurjinder has read her work at the Vancouver International Writers Festival and has been both a panelist and facilitator on writing at the 2007 Writer's Studio alumni symposium. In December of 2009, Mother Tongue Publishing of Salt Spring Island announced Basran was the winner of their Search for the Great BC Novel Contest for her manuscript Everything Was Goodbye, to be published by Mother Tongue Publishing in the fall of 2010.

The final judge of the contest, Jack Hodgins, wrote, "Gurjinder Basran's ambitious novel Everything was Good-bye is the fascinating story of a strong-willed young Indo-Canadian woman raised in the Lower Mainland, and traces her life from adolescence to middle-age -- a life of rebellion against the expectations of a tradition-bound widowed mother and the demands of her community. Meena's story brings us intimately into her world, and allows us to identify with the difficulties of trying to live in the culture of a new world while dealing with expectations and demands originating in another. Although she is to a certain extent representative, Meena is also a unique rebel, imaginative and passionate, torn between a weakening attachment to her family and her desire to be part of the larger Canadian culture she has been raised within. There is heartbreak here, and violence, but there is romance and bravery as well, and some triumph. Above all, there is the reward of getting to know this bravely determined young woman."

Two short list judges, Vancouver novelist, Karen X Tulchinsky, and Salt Spring novelist Kathy Page, read sixty-four submissions and short-listed manuscripts by Gurjinder Basran, Gillean Chase, DC Reid, Kuya Minogue and Gillian Wigmore.

Basran's second novel, Someone You Love is Gone (Viking 2017) finds protagonist Simran struggling: Her mother, lynchpin of the family has died, her marriage is disintegrating, and she is estranged from her own daughter. Simran must now try put the unravelling threads of her life back together. The story explores the ties that bind families and the undercurrents that drive them part.


Everything Was Goodbye (Mother Tongue 2010) Re-published Penguin.

Someone You Love is Gone (Viking 2017) $24.95 978-0-7352-3342-3

[BCBW 2017]