Samina Ali was born in Hyderabad, India and raised both there and in the United States. Her debut novel, Madras On Rainy Days, was awarded the Prix Premier Roman Etranger 2005 Award by France and was also chosen as the finalist for both the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction as well as the California Book Reviewers Award. Poets & Writers magazine named Madras as one of the Top 5 Best Debut Novels of the Year in 2004. Ali speaks regularly at colleges across the country and has traveled internationally with the U.S. State Department. She has written for Self and Child magazines, The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times.