Meira Chand is of Indian-Swiss parentage and was born and educated in London, where she attended Putney High School. She later studied art at St Martin’s School of Art & Design, and taught art at an international school in Japan before turning to writing. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Western Australia.
In 1962, she moved with her husband to Japan, living there until the early 1970s when she left to spend five years in India, where she began writing short stories. On her return to Japan in 1976, she wrote her first novel The Gossamer Fly, followed by four more novels set in Japan, Last Quadrant (1981), The Bonsai Tree (1983), The Painted Cage (1986), and a war novel, A Choice of Evils (1996). A further two novels House of the Sun (1989) and A Far Horizon (2001) are both set in India.
In 1997 she relocated to Singapore where she wrote her most recent novel, A Different Sky (2010). On its publication, A Different Sky was a Book of the Month choice by the UK bookshop chain, Waterstones, and was included on popular US personality Oprah Winfrey’s recommended reading list, and was also long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2012.
Meira Chand’s novels spring from the confluence of different cultures in her life, with strong themes of identity and belonging. In Singapore she is involved in many programmes to promote literature and mentor young writers. She has served for over a decade as an assessor and mentor for the Creative Arts Programme, a schools initiative under the auspices Ministry of Education/National University of Singapore. She has also been closely involved since its inception with READ! Singapore, a programme initiated in 2005 by the National Library Board to promote the joys of reading. Amongst other things, she is a board member of the National Arts Council and is chairperson for the Singapore Literature Prize. Chand has also served as the chair for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the region of South East Asia and South Pacific. In 2011, she received a Special Recognition Award from the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, Singapore and was also recognised for Pioneering Contributions to the Arts and Heritage of Singapore in 2015. She is now a Singapore citizen and has made her permanent home in the country.