About Jennifer Zobair
Jennifer Zobair was born in San Diego, California and moved with her family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a young child. She has never lived on a farm or tipped a cow.
The seeds of her eventual Muslim feminism were planted early, in church, where at age three she turned to her mother and said, “Why do we say Amen instead of Awomen?” She has been asking some form of this question ever since.
Jennifer’s early love of writing was fostered by a dynamic fifth grade teacher who created a “writing lab” at her elementary school and published literary journals of the students’ work. Jennifer’s mother volunteered in the lab, and her father hung her framed stories on the wall of his pediatric practice office.
Her favorite authors as a young child were Judy Blume, Stella Pevsner, Katherine Patterson, and Beverly Cleary. In high school and college, she fell in love with the work of authors like Toni Morrison, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker, whose essays inspired her to become a vegetarian. As an adult, her favorite books tend to be multicultural; click for her suggested reading list.
Jennifer graduated from Smith College, where she majored in history with a concentration in African American history, and Georgetown Law School, where she learned how to defend her positions more effectively and that law school professors are actually lovely people.
After law school she practiced corporate and immigration law in New York and Michigan, converted to Islam, and married a fellow Georgetown Law grad. He’s Pakistani American, which means she knows her cumin from her coriander, how to pull off a gharara without tripping on the hem, and that the dry cleaner is lying when he says he can remove that big blob of henna from your favorite white pants. Jennifer and her husband live outside of Boston with their three children.
Painted Hands is her first novel.