Monday, November 27, 2006


Samina Ali, pictured here with mesmerized host Jeff Knorr (or is he fighting off the effects of his medication?), appeared in Sacramento City College's auditorium for a reading and discussion of her book Madras on Rainy Days.

Samina Ali read an excerpt from her novel before a packed and attentive crowd.

She proceeded to field a number of questions from the assembled crowd. She talked about the reasons for Islam's divergence from its stated rules regarding women's choices and opportunites and the effect that the overlay of cultural practices in states that have adopted Islam has had on Muslim women's choices. She also touched on the nature of the novel with respect to her experience, emphasizing that there was a good deal of difference between her experience and the experience of her characters, particularly regarding Sameer (the husband of the female protagonist Layla) and her real husband. However, she did let on that much of the book was based on her experience.

Everyone left the auditorium a little more informed and enlightened except for your humble reporter whose offer to have Ali appear as "Ms. January" for an upcoming pin-up calendar of Muslim women of California was rebuked. Alas, if only my shame were a perishable fruit!

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