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Drama Women Authors

Pyaasa & Letters to My Grandma

by (author) Anusree Roy

introduction by Thomas Morgan Jones

Playwrights Canada Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2010
Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
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Set in Calcutta, Pyaasa tells the story of Chaya, an eleven-year-old untouchable who dreams of nothing more than learning her times tables. When Chaya's mother begs a woman from a higher caste to give Chaya a job at a local tea stall, Chaya's journey from childhood to adulthood begins and ends over ten days. A moving and heartfelt play, Pyaasa illustrates with subtlety and nuanced truth the inequalities and injustices that persist through the Indian caste system.

In the haunting Letters to My Grandma, Malobee unearths letters detailing her grandmother's fight to survive the 1947 partition of India, which resonates with Malobee's own struggles to create a new life in present-day Toronto. A grand multi-generational tale of hatred, regret, love, and forgiveness, Letters to my Grandma weaves the remarkable stories of these two women together, inextricably linking their histories and delving into how the hatred bred between Hindus and Muslims in the Old World consumes families in Canada today.

About the authors

A Siminovitch Prize protégé recipient and Governor General's Literary Award finalist, Anusree Roy is also a multi–Dora Mavor Moore Award–winning playwright and actor. Her plays include Pyaasa (Dora Award for Outstanding New Play), Letters to my Grandma, Roshni, Brothel #9 (Governor General's Literary Award nomination and Dora Award for Outstanding New Play), and Sultans of the Street (Dora Award for Outstanding New Play). She is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Award, the RBC Emerging Artist Award, and the Carol Bolt Award. She has been the playwright-in-residence at Nightwood Theatre, Factory Theatre, the Blyth Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille, and the Canadian Stage Company. Her opera librettos include The Golden Boy, Noor Over Afghan, and Phoolan Devi The Bandit Queen. Anusree has a master's degree from the University of Toronto and was Nurse Patel for two seasons of Global TV’s Remedy.

Anusree Roy's profile page

Thomas has worked across Canada and internationally as a director, playwright, dramaturg, instructor, and movement coach. His productions have received eleven Dora Mavor Moore Awards and eight nominations; he received the 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Guthrie (Stratford Festival), and has been nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award and twice for the John Hirsch Award (2008 & 2011). He is currently Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Thomas Morgan Jones' profile page


  • Winner, Dora Mavor Moore Award—Outstanding New Play

Editorial Reviews

"Letters to My Grandma is a courageous and honest portrayal of loneliness, regret, forgiveness, and the divide between immigrant youth and the loved ones they leave behind."

Experience Toronto

"Her script is direct and passionate, and her performance is spine-tinglingly alive and confident."

NOW Magazine

Other titles by Anusree Roy