Anish Majumdar is a Bengali-Canadian-American journalist and writer. As a child growing up in the Montreal suburb of LaSalle, Canada, Anish’s first creative writing lessons came courtesy of his mother, a former English teacher. Witnessing her struggle with schizophrenia had a profound impact on Anish and inspired The Isolation Door, his first novel. Anish’s parents emigrated to Canada from Kolkata in the late 1970’s, becoming active members in the Bengali community. Anish’s earliest memory of his mother was at age 6, when he recited a Bengali poem at a big festival. He walked up to the microphone on stage and found himself paralyzed with fear. The only words that came out of his mouth were, “I’m not speaking unless my mom is here.”
Recovering from his stage fright, Anish acted in plays, leaving high school three months early to tour the U.S. with a Shakespeare-in-the-Park troupe. He spent his twenties acting in movies, TV, and commercials in Toronto and Montreal. He got roughed up by Hugh Jackman in “The Fountain,” played a slimy TV exec in IFC’S “The Festival,” and became known to Quebec’s French population as Rajiv Amitraj, a hard-up Indian man on a show called “Pure Laine.”
He moved to New York City in 2006 and started his career in writing. He has written for American Way, Maclean’s, Hemispheres, Little India Magazine and Toronto Life. His non-fiction work has garnered Independent Press Association Awards for Feature Writing and Investigative Journalism. His short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Anish speaks regularly to high school and college students about “the importance of owning your story and spreading awareness” about the millions of families dealing with mental illness. Anish talks about his experiences in a series of YouTube videos filmed at locations integral to his mother’s battle with schizophrenia. He lives with his wife, son, and a growing menagerie of pets in Rochester, NY.
Note: Anish is fluent in English and French, and can understand Bengali.
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