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Shani Mootoo is known for her work as an artist and writer. She was born in Ireland in 1957, grew up in Trinidad, and has lived in Canada since the early 1980s. Mootoo studied fine arts at the University of Western Ontario where she began to paint and produce video works. She earned a master of fine arts equivalent at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver in 1982. Mootoo's collection of short stories Out on Main Street was published in 1993. This was followed in 1996 by her first novel, Cereus Blooms at Night, which was published in fourteen countries and was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. In 2001, Mootoo published a collection of poetry, The Predicament of Or. Her second novel, He Drown She in the Sea, was published in May 2005. Mootoo has been a writer in residence at the University of Alberta, at Mills College in Oakland, California, and at the Varuna Writers Residency program in Australia. She has taught writing at the University of Alberta, Capilano College in North Vancouver, the BC Festival of the Arts, and the BC Arts Council. Her visual art and video productions have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Queens Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Venice Biennale.