Sidhwa was born on August 11, 1938, in Karachi, Pakistan, then part of India. Her family belongs to the Parsi ethnic community which practices the Zoroastrian religion. Sidhwa received a bachelor's degree from Kinnaird College for Women in 1956. After her first husband died, she married Noshir R. Sidhwa, a businessman, in 1963, with whom she has three children. In 1975 Sidhwa served as Pakistan's delegate to the Asian Women's Congress. She immigrated to the United States in 1983, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1993. Since moving to the United States, Sidhwa has taught, lectured, and presented workshops in creative writing at several colleges and universities, including Columbia University, St. Thomas University, the University of Houston, and Mount Holyoke College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She held a Bunting fellowship at Radcliffe/Harvard in 1986 and was a visiting scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy, in 1991. Sidhwa also served on the advisory committee on women's development for former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In 1991 she was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan's highest national honor in the arts. She has also received a variety of grants and awards for her fiction, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1987, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year award for Cracking India in 1991, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest award in 1993.

Bapsi Sidhwa is an award winning Pakistani novelist striving above all to bring women's issues of the Indian subcontinent into public discussion. Born into a wealthy family, Sidhwa spent her first seven years as an Indian citizen in the plains city of Lahore. In 1945, after India was divided, she became a Pakistani. The tremendous turmoil and bloodshed she observed as a child left its mark on Sidhwa, and later in her fiction she revived those powerful...