Quill and Quire


« Back to Omni

Farzana Doctor wins 2023 Freedom to Read Award

Farzana Doctor (The Writers’ Union of Canada)

Author and activist Farzana Doctor has been named the winner of the 2023 Freedom to Read Award for her work to shine light on taboo subjects.

Doctor, the author of four novels and a poetry collection, was nominated for the award by journalist and filmmaker Giselle Portenier who lauded Doctor’s work to reveal the “issue of khatna, or female genital mutilation/cutting in her insular Dawoodi Bohra community.”

Portenier wrote in a nomination that Doctor’s writing, particularly her 2020 novel Seven, “has helped to shift this silence and is helping to make change.”

The award, presented each year during Freedom to Read Week by the Writers’ Union of Canada, recognizes work that supports access to books and the freedom to read. Previous winners include activist and bookseller Anjula Gogia, and authors David A. Robertson, Ivan Coyote, and Jael Richardson.