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Writers at school


Veena Gokhale



Veena Gokhale

An Indo-Canadian immigrant, Veena Gokhale’s work has chiefly consisted of print journalism and communications for non-profit organizations, and included presenting workshops on social and environmental issues. Since 1993, she has been writing and publishing fiction and poetry, and reading from her work. Her debut collection, Bombay Wali & Other Stories (Guernica Editions, 2013), brings contemporary urban India, in all its diversity, complexity and charm, to life. (“Bombay Wali” means a woman from Bombay). Stemming from observed life, her fiction reflects social concerns and goes beyond stereotypes. She recently completed her first novel, written with a Québec writing grant. She has been presenting her work in CEGEP classrooms and is very interested in going into secondary schools, to facilitate discussion and learning.

Suggested reading*

Short story Munni (or excerpts)
Excerpts from short stories Kathmandu/Snapshot/The Tea Drinker
(From Bombay Wali & Other Stories)

*These titles have been suggested by the author based on the activities that he/she proposes to students.
It is, however, up to teachers to verify whether the titles are appropriate for their groups (age and education level, specific context, etc.).
Teaching staff are invited to contact the author for clarification on this aspect and assistance in preparing their groups for his/her visit.

Proposed approach and type of activities

“Munni – An unusual friendship”

Goal: Learning about friendship in a foreign context; writing about a familiar and important topic: friendship.

Preparation: Before the workshop, students will read Munni (or excerpts) and some context-setting material. Set in an Indian town, the story is about a friendship between a middle-class child and a servant girl. In class, the author will introduce the story, pose and answer questions about it, and introduce a writing exercise (15 to 20 minutes). Students will work alone or in pairs. (15 minutes) A few students will present their text (10 minutes). Those who don’t want to, or cannot, given the time constraints, will display it on a wall, which the students can view later. The author and the teacher will co-facilitate a short discussion on bridges and barriers to friendship and what the students learned from reading the story and writing about this theme.

“Let’s go places – Travelling through stories”

Goal: To show how one can travel, meet people and learn about new cultures through reading literature. Bombay Wali has stories set in Kathmandu and suburbanTokyo, and one story that takes readers from an unnamed tropical island toToronto.

Preparation: Students will read between one and three pre-selected excerpts that fulfill the above goals. In class, the author will introduce the themes, connect them to her book and invite students to share other examples from books they have read. In a short writing exercise, done alone or in pairs, students will describe being in a “new” culture or situation. This could be based on real experiences or literary, and could also take place in the city where they live. A few students will share their work; other texts will be circulated later. The author and teacher will co-facilitate a short discussion on what can happen when we encounter new cultures.

Special conditions

For information

Phone : 514 667-4940
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

Available in

In every regions

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