Neil Bissoondath was born in Arima, Trinidad in 1955, the nephew of V S Naipaul. His father ran a store. When racial attacks on Trinidadians of East Indian origin started in the early 1970s, Bissoondath moved to Canada and earned a B. A. in French from York University. He became a teacher and then started writing stories. He has gone on to write novels and short stories. His book on multiculturalism in Canada - Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada - attracted considerable controversy. He teaches at the Université Laval.