Shani Mootoo, writer, visual artist and video maker, was born in Ireland in 1958 to parents of Indian origin and grew up in Trinidad. She immigrated to Canada at the age of nineteen and began her career as a visual artist. Her photos and videos have been exhibited in the United States and Canada and at a number of international film festivals. Her writing has appeared in many anthologies and her first book was a collection of short stories, Out on Main Street and Other Stories. Her novel, Cereus Blooms at Night, which won the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, was short-listed for the Giller Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her most recent publication is a collection of poems, The Predicament of Or. She has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1981.
Shani Mootoo's Out on Main Street voices the experience of women, particularly of the diasporic community constantly battling with the internalization of gendered upbringing alongside their struggle to create a home in the metropolis. As Mootoo's female characters try to conform to or resist the conventional paradigms of the good wife/daughter, they demonstrate their hybridized, diasporic subjectivities. Mootoo's personal experiences as a girl child, lesbian, and brown immigrant in Canada emerge as central themes in Out on Main Street. It validates her statement that “being lesbian/of colour is the foundation or world view” from which all her works “undoubtedly arise” (Dhaliwal 24). The identities that are presented here are symptomatic of the