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Bapsi Sidhwa (1938 - ) is an author of Pakistani origin who writes in English. She is perhaps best known for her collaborative work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta: Sidhwa wrote both the 1991 novel Cracking India which is the basis for Mehta's 1998 film Earth as well as the 2006 novel Water: A Novel which is based upon Mehta's 2005 film, Water.


Sidhwa was born to Zoroastrian parents Peshotan and Tehmina Bhandara in Karachimarker, Pakistanmarker and later moved with her family to Lahoremarker. She was two when she contracted polio (which has affected her throughout her life) and nine at the time of the Partition of India (facts which would shape the character of "Lenny" as well as the background for her novel Cracking India, originally titled, Ice Candy Man). She received her B.A. from Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore in 1957.

She married at the age of 19 and moved to Mumbai, India for five years before she divorced and remarried in Lahoremarker, Pakistanmarker with her present husband Noshir who is also Zoroastrian. She had three children in Pakistanmarker before beginning her career as an author. She currently resides in Houston, USA. She describes herself as "Punjabi-Parsi-Indian-Pakistani"


She has previously taught at the University of Houstonmarker, Rice University, Columbia University, Mount Holyoke Collegemarker, and Brandeis Universitymarker.


  • Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe/Harvard (1986)
  • Visiting Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Center, Bellagio, Italy, (1991)
  • Sitara-i-Imtiaz, (1991, Pakistan's highest national honor in the arts)
  • Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award (1994)
  • Premio Mondello for Foreign Authors for Water (2007)


  • City of Sin and Splendour : Writings on Lahore (2006, U.S.)
  • Water: A Novel (2006, U.S. and Canada)
  • Bapsi Sidhwa Omnibus (2001, Pakistan)
  • An American Brat (1993, U.S.; 1995, India)
  • Cracking India (1991, U.S.; 1992, India; originally published as Ice Candy Man, 1988, England)
  • The Bride (1982, England; 1983;1984, India; published as The Pakistani Bride, 1990 U.S. and 2008 U.S.)
  • The Crow Eaters (1978, Pakistan; 1979 &1981, India; 1980, England; 1982, U.S.)


  1. Literary Encyclopedia: Bapsi Sidhwa

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