A smiling, middle-aged, mixed Somali American woman with large glasses.




Sofia Samatar is the author of four books, most recently Monster Portraits, a collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Her first novel, the epic fantasy A Stranger in Olondria, won the 2014 William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time and Esquire’s list of the 50 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. Samatar also received the 2014 Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Her second novel, The Winged Histories, completes the Olondria duology, a project that both challenges and revels in the genre of high fantasy. Her short story collection, Tender, includes the Hugo and Nebula finalist “Selkie Stories Are for Losers,” the miniature bestiary “Ogres of East Africa,” and other tales exploring the fragility of bodies and landscapes. In Monster Portraits, a finalist for the Calvino Prize, Del Samatar’s elegant black-and-white grotesques inspire Sofia Samatar’s genre-bending exploration of monsters and the monstrous. Sofia Samatar’s memoir, The White Mosque, an exploration of family, faith, and border crossing, is forthcoming from Catapult Books in October 2022.

Read more on her website.

SESSION: How I Made This: Grievers, in conversation with adrienne maree brown

In conversation with the author.