Winner, American BookFest Best Book Award, for the Short Story (2017)

Winner: IPPY Gold Medal for Multicultural Fiction, for Multicultural Fiction (2018)

Ranked # 6 in CBC’s Must Reads of 2017
(as recommended by you)

Shortlisted, The Miramichi Very Best Book Awards (2018)  

A Haitian woman survives the ravages of an earthquake only to find her sister, an émigré in Montreal, the subject of a grisly crime. A chambermaid in a Mexican tourist resort frequented by Canadian tourists wonders why all the men in her life seem to leave her for distant lands. A Jamaican migrant worker at an Ontario chicken farm comes to the aid of his Peruvian co-worker on the eve of a fatal car accident. And a young Pakistani-Canadian woman finds herself in the midst of a protest march defending Muslim women’s rights on the same day she has agreed to meet her Moroccan lover. The diverse cast of characters that energize Mariam Pirbhai’s Outside People and Other Stories not only reflects a multicultural Canada but also the ease with which this striking debut collection inhabits the voices and perspectives of nation, hemisphere, and world.

Praise for Outside People

“With clear-eyed compassion, generosity and literary brilliance, Mariam Pirbhai has deftly illuminated characters whose lives in literature are usually relegated to the shadows of the mainstream. . . As Diane Arbus is to photography, so is Mariam Pirbhai to literature – bringing forth the margins, but nobly, with understanding and an unusual generosity in her handling of contemporary society’s machinations.”

Shani Mootoo, author of
Cereus Blooms at Night, and Polar Vortex

Outside People and Other Stories views the world and humanity through a wide-angled lens. Give it a read. It will both entertain and enlighten.”

Rhoda Rabinowitz Green, author of
Aspects of Nature

“Featuring a diverse, multicultural ensemble cast of characters, Mariam Pirbhai’s debut short story collection Outside People and Other Stories examines themes of displacement, race and globalization to reflect the Canada we all live in.”

‘95 Must Read Books from 2017’

“Half way through these dazzling stories and feel like this is the Can Lit I’ve been waiting for. Nine stories from perspectives of the ‘invisible’ people in Canadian society, ‘those whose stories rarely get told: people (largely though not exclusively women) of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds navigating the Canadian or trans-American workforce as temporary migrant workers, bankers, chambermaids, civil servants, and the like.’ Plus, ‘the collection also includes a unique feature in Canadian literature: a glossary of the languages spoken by this multiethnic cast of characters, including Spanish, French, Urdu/Hindi, and even Caribbean creoles.’ Thank you, Mariam Pirbhai.”

Dr. Candida Rifkind,
Department of English, University of Winnipeg

“Unflinching and clear-eyed, Pirbhai makes protagonists out of those who have often been relegated to background roles, to stunning effect.”

Open Book

“. . . this collection will go on my 2018 longlist for The Very Best! Awards in the short fiction category.”

 Jim Fisher,
Miramichi Reader