About Derek Mascarenhas

Derek is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program, a finalist and runner-up for the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction, and a nominee for the Marina Nemat Award. His linked short story collection, Coconut Dreams, was called a”stunning debut” in Quill and Quire’s starred review, and The Globe and Mail named it one of the best reads from Canadian small presses. He also has a children’s book, 100 Chapatis, set to be published by Owlkids in Fall 2023. Derek lives in Toronto and is currently working on a novel.

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From the publisher:

Coconut Dreams explores the lives of the Pinto family through seventeen linked short stories. Starting with a ghost story set in Goa, India in the 1950s, the collection weaves through various timelines and perspectives to focus on two children, Aiden and Ally Pinto. These siblings tackle their adventures in a predominantly white suburb with innocence, intelligence and a timid foot in two distinct cultures. Derek Mascarenhas takes a fresh look at the world of the new immigrant and the South Asian experience in Canada. In these stories, a daughter questions her father’s love at an IKEA grand opening; an aunt remembers a safari-gone-wrong in Kenya; an uncle’s unrequited love is confronted at a Goan Association picnic; a boy tests his faith amidst a school-yard brawl; and a childhood love letter is exchanged during the building of a backyard deck. Singularly and collectively, these stories will move the reader with their engaging narratives and authentic voices.


“In this evocative collection, Derek Mascarenhas takes up the fictional Pinto family and turns it gently in his hands, revealing new truths—and new questions—with every shift in point of view. A moving, multifaceted debut.”

Alissa York, author of The Naturalist

“Author Derek Mascarenhas, the son of Goan immigrants who settled in Burlington, has captured a world he knows well.” 

Sarah Murdoch, The Toronto Star

“The stories in Mascarenhas’s Coconut Dreams remind one of the high stakes in a child’s world, the way that danger looms just fractionally outside safety. Like all proper enchantments, these vignettes are dark, light, strange, and vivid such that they delight and charm in equal portions.”

Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things