As the only unpublished author to make the prestigious, once-a-decade Granta list of the 20 best young British writers, Monica Ali enjoyed a reputation as a wunderkind even before the appearance of her debut novel, Brick Lane. As the London Observer puts it, she's "already one of the most significant British novelists of her generation."
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Date of Birth:
October 20, 1967
Place of Birth:
B.A. with Honors, Oxford, 1989
From the award-winning bestselling author of Brick Lane comes this compelling, gorgeously written stories set in Portugal, linked by character and place. Ali brilliantly introduces us to a new culture as she did in her first novel.
|It Takes a Village|
|In our exclusive interview with Ali, she told us about some ways her heritage is reflected in her work: "My father would always tell me tales of village life in Bangladesh, where he grew up. I always pretended not to listen but many of those tales emerged in my first book," she reflects." My great-grandmother used to keep a jinni (a spirit) in a lead-stoppered bottle. Makku Pagla, or lunatic Makku, who drowns in the well, was based on a real person. And my grandfather, who was village headman, had his own special disciplinary methods, including hanging people from trees for a beating."|
|The Breakout Bestseller||Favorite Writers and Reads|
From our editors: "Monica Ali's virtuoso debut carries readers effortlessly into a world unknown to most Americans: the sheltered life of a deeply traditional Muslim housewife.... It's a powerful yet simply told story that wraps you up so tightly in the lives of its characters, you actually miss them long after the novel ends."
|A House for Mr. Biswas|
V. S. Naipaul
Ali told us that V. S. Naipaul's classic is an all-time favorite read, calling it "his masterpiece. I love the blend of comedy and tragedy, and every time I read it, I ache afresh for Biswas." Read our interview with Ali to learn more about her favorite books, including:
|Photo by Robin Matthews||