Seeking and Maintaining Balance: Rohinton Mistry's Fiction.
Abstract: Balance is an important quality in the fiction of Rohinton Mistry, as suggested by the title of his second novel, 'A Fine Balance.' Mistry was born in India, a member of the Parsi community, and immigrated to Canada in 1975. Mistry's short story collection 'Tales from Firozsha Baag' and his two novels, 'Such a Long Journey' and 'A FIne Balance' focus on the Parsi community in India rather than on the immigrant experience. The Parsis and India become metaphors for the human experience in Mistry's fiction. .
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1999 University of Oklahoma .
The title of Rohinton Mistry's second novel, A Fine Balance, suggests a worthwhile way to explore his fiction. Even Mistry's biography constitutes a kind of balancing act. Born in India in 1952, he grew up in Bombay and received a degree from the University of Bombay in mathematics and economics. In 1975 he immigrated to Canada, working in a bank to support himself while studying English and philosophy at the University of Toronto, where he received a second bachelor's degree in 1984. Although an immigrant, an outsider in Canadian society, Mistry already understood this condition, for in India he belonged to the Parsi community, whose Zoroastrian religious beliefs set its members on the edge of Hindu society. After a few years in Canada, he started writing stories and gained immediate attention, receiving two Hart House literary prizes and Canadian Fiction Magazine's annual Contributors' Prize in 1985. Two years later, Penguin Books Canada published a collection of eleven stories titled Tales from Firozsha Baag, which appeared in 1989 in the United States as Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag. Most of the stories had little to do with his experience as an immigrant in Canada, but focused instead on the uneventful lives of a group of Parsis who live in a ramshackle Bombay apartment block.