Rohinton Mistry won acclaim with his very first writings, two short stories he entered into literary competitions in Canada (the 1983 and 1984 Hart House Literary Prizes), both of which took first prize. In 1985, he won the annual Contributor’s Award from Canadian Fiction Magazine. He continued to receive honors when he turned to longer fiction. His first novel, Such a Long Journey, won the Canadian Governor-General’s Award for fiction, the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; it was also short-listed for the Booker Prize in England, as were both of his next two novels. In 1998, Such a Long Journey was made into a film of the same title.
In 2001, talk-show host Oprah Winfrey chose Mistry’s second novel, A Fine Balance, as one of her featured book-club works, and Mistry appeared on her show; the book then sold an additional one-half million copies. A Fine Balance also won the Giller Prize for the best Canadian novel of 1995, the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the 1996 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. In 1996, Mistry was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.