Samina Ali is an award-winning author, curator, and popular speaker. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2004), was the winner of France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman E'tranger Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Poets & Writers Magazine named it a Top Debut of the Year.
In the critically acclaimed global exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices, Samina presents a ground-breaking collection of thought pieces and artwork from contemporary Muslim women who are defining their own identities and, in the process, shattering pervasive stereotypes.
Samina has spoken extensively at a wide range of universities, from Harvard and Yale Universities to community colleges, as well as at other institutions worldwide, including as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department and a featured presenter at the Nobel Women’s Initiative 2017 International Conference. The recipient of fiction awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, she has been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, Vogue, National Public Radio (NPR) and elsewhere.
Her Tedx talk, “What Does the Qur’an Really Say about a Muslim Woman’s Hijab?” currently has over 8 million views. Samina's second book weaves her personal story with a passionate appeal for women’s equality and justice and truth. The Second Self will be released by Catapult in early 2025.