“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Writer Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor does a lot of things! She’s primarily a writer, but finds time for activism and a part-time psychotherapy practice. She’s also a dog mom.

She has a morning writing routine. Since 2007, she’s written four novels: Stealing NasreenSix Metres of PavementAll Inclusive and Seven (coming in 2020). She’s also been working on a poetry collection, self-care book and a YA novel.

In the afternoons, she sees individuals and couples at her part-time private psychotherapy practice. She’s keen on neuroscience, attachment and hypnosis.

Farzana Doctor
Farzana Doctor – Credit Tanja Tiziana

She became interested in community organizing as a teen (environmental issues and human rights) and more recently has been volunteering with WeSpeakOut, a group working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community.

Few people know that she is an amateur tarot card reader and has a love of all things spiritual. She has a daily meditation practice to keep her grounded.

While all her books are distinct from one another, her diverse interests come through in her stories and characters. Social justice, psychology and a hint of magical realism weave their way into plots that have included love triangles, redemption, family reunification and ancestral legacy.

Selected awards and honors:
-CBC Books’: “100 Writers in Canada You Need To Know Now” (2018).
-All Inclusive: Kobo and National Post Best Books of the Year (2015).
-Six Metres of Pavement: Lambda Literary, Toronto Book Award shortlist, One Book One Brampton winner.

-Written by Sil Hernando

Farzana Doctor
Date night with my partner Reyan Naim at Scaddabush in Etobicoke. As a couples therapist, I’m a big fan of date nights and encourage all my clients to make time for them.
Farzana Doctor
In Bandra (Mumbai), with my maternal grandmother. I only get to see her every few years, and I’m so grateful I could travel to India in January. It’s not a coincidence that Bandra is the main setting in my novel, Seven.
Farzana Doctor
Here’s a photo to my older sister, Fariya Doctor, and me outside of the Khar West (Mumbai) mosque my great-great-grandfather built for his mother. He inspired one of the characters in my novel.
I’m a founding member of the End FGM/C Canada Network, a group that works to end female genital cutting/mutilation. Here I am (from L) with co-founders, and amazing activists, Giselle Portenier, Malaika Somji and Klara Hillmann.
Here I am sporting my New Toronto T-shirt! I’m fairly new to this neighbourhood, but I love the proximity to the lake, the treed streets and close community vibe.
Chilling in the backyard with my eleven year-old dog Maggie. She is the canine love of my life. When she came to us ten years ago, she was skittish and wouldn’t be touched. Now, well…
At the US launch for All Inclusive in New York City in 2017. I love doing public readings and connecting with audiences.
Farzana Doctor – I also love teaching writing workshops to emerging writers. This is at the Stratford Writers Festival, where I taught a class on How to Be Your Own Editor.


What ‘hood are you in?

I live in South Etobicoke, aka New Toronto.

What do you do?

I’m a writer, mostly of novels, but I also write poetry and non-fiction.

What are you currently working on?

My fourth novel, Seven, will be released next summer. It’s about a woman who goes to India to research her great-great-grandfather, but ends up excavating a family secret that has had an indelible impact on her life.

Where can we find your work?

At indie and big box bookstores everywhere! You can also find my work on Audible.



You can also catch Farzana at JLF Toronto on Saturday, September 28 where she will be In Conversation with Tom Cho and Shree Paradkar in a session featuring readings that voice different aspects of sexuality across the spectrum, along with the challenges and alliances across intersections of race, belief and gender.




About Joel Levy 2552 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography