Umi Sinha was born in the military hospital in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1952 to an English mother and Indian father. She grew up in India in the decade following Independence, when there was deeply held resentment against the British. She moved to Britain in 1968 during the backlash against the mass immigration of Asians who had been expelled from Uganda and Kenya. The experience of being an outsider looking for a place to belong, along with the impact of history – political and personal – on individual lives, is a major theme in her writing.
Umi has an MA in Creative Writing and taught at the University of Sussex for ten years. She teaches creative writing classes and workshops, runs a performance storytelling club and offers a mentoring and manuscript appraisal service for writers called Writing Clinic. She is also a trained mediator and trustee at her local community centre. She has had short stories published, including in Cosmopolitan magazine and in a Serpent Tail’s anthology. Belonging is her debut novel. She is currently working on a new novel set in Italy and India between 1943 and 1948, exploring how individuals can overcome hatred and learn to forgive.
In 2016, Umi was a guest at the Tata Literature Festival in Mumbai.