This Women’s History Month, we’re showcasing some incredible Muslim female authors whose work you definitely want to add to your TBR list! From debut poetry collections to award-winning novels and journalism, these women are spicing up the literary world with their lived experiences and diversity.
Fatima Farheen Mirza
Fatima is best known for her debut novel A Place For Us, which was a New York Times Bestseller. She was born and raised in California and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was initially pursuing medicine at an undergraduate level but shifted to a career in creative writing. In 2020, she and British actor Riz Ahmed tied the knot.
Dina Nayeri is an Iranian-American novelist. She fled Iran with her mother and brother at the age of 8 and the three of them sought asylum in Dubai and Rome before moving to the U.S. Her second novel, Refuge, is a semi-autobiographical novel reflecting on a father-daughter relationship with a father who stayed behind in Iran, which was what Nayeri’s father did.
Ayisha Malik is the author of critically acclaimed novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, The Other Half of Happiness, and This Green and Pleasant Land. She was born and raised in South London and formerly worked as a publicist at Penguin Random House.
Although part of the notorious Bhutto family in Pakistan, Fatima Bhutto is critical of her aunt Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, former President of Pakistan. Fatima frequently writes for The Guardian and is the author of Songs of Blood and Sword, The Runaways, and New Kings of the World. At 15 she published her first book, Whispers of the Desert, a collection of 45 poems.
Zaina Arafat is an LGBTQ Arab-American author, journalist, and professor. Her debut novel You Exist Too Much was named Roxanne Gay’s favorite book of the year. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, among others. She teaches writing at Barnard College and The School of the New York Times and has also taught writing workshops in Jordan, Egypt, and Eritrea.
A writer, poet, and filmmaker, Fatimah Asghar’s work centers around themes of religion, identity, Partition, and violence. Fatimah also wrote and co-created the Emmy-nominated series Brown Girls, which highlights friendships among women of color. If They Come for Us is Asghar’s debut poetry collection, followed by their debut novel When We Were Sisters.
Sahar Musrafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, an identity she explores in her writing. Her debut novel, The Beauty of Your Face, was named The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 202, among other prizes and nominations. She also writes about the experience of Arab communities in the U.S. diaspora.
Soniah Kamal is a Pakistani-American author of An Isolated Incident and Unmarriageable. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Buzzfeed.
Safia is a Sudanese-American poet who has performed her spoken word around the world and is the recipient of several prestigious poetry awards. Her poetry was used by Under Armour for its “Unlike Any” PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
You can find more incredible authors of color here!