Monica Ali(1967-), Novelist
Sitter in 1 portrait
British writer and novelist. Born in Dhaka, in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), her Bangladeshi father was a teacher and her English mother a councelor. Ali emigrated to England with her family in 1971 at the age of three. She grew up in Bolton and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. Her debut novel, Brick Lane, about the life of a Bangladeshi woman in London's Tower Hamlets, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2003. The book was adapted for a film of the same name. Both the book and the film caused controversy when it was criticised by members of the Bengali community in Tower Hamlets who said they could not identify with the characters. Ali opposed the British government's attempt to introduce the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. She discusses this in her contribution to the collection of essays Free Expression Is No Offence (2005).