Born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection. She has been invited to the poetry galas of the Guardian sponsored Hay Festival in 2006 and the Cartagena Hay Festival in 2007. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published by Bloomsbury in 2010 and was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2011, and shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010.
She works as a freelance writer and worked with choreographer Chandralekha until the latter’s death in December 2006. She graduated with a master’s degree in creative writing from the Johns Hopkins University.
Countries of the Body was launched in 2006 at the Hay-on-Wye festival on a platform with Seamus Heaney, Margaret Atwood, and others. The opening poem, “The Day we went to the Sea, won the 2005 British Council-supported All India Poetry Competition; she was also a finalist in the Outlook-Picador Non-Fiction Competition.
Her short story “Lady Cassandra, Spartacus and the dancing man” was published in its entirety in the journal The Drawbridge in 2007
Her most recent book of poetry, Everything Begins Elsewhere, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013.
Tishani Doshi delivered the keynote address at the 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten/St. Martin in 2015. Her newest book, The Adulterous Citizen – poems stories essays (2015) was launched at the festival by House of Nehesi Publishers, making Tishani Doshi the first important author from India to be published in the Caribbean.