PHOTO: GABRIELA BHASKAR

PHOTO: GABRIELA BHASKAR

"Tanaïs, the name I have given myself, is a portmanteau of the first two letters of my three names — a name that came to me after appearing on that list as a Muslim woman writer. I wanted to find a meridian between identities that honor where I’ve come from and where I am headed. " - for the full essay, please visit @them.

Tanaïs (née Tanwi Nandini Islam) is the New York based author of the critically-acclaimed novel BRIGHT LINES (Penguin 2015), which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, and was the inaugural selection of the First Lady of NYC's Gracie Book Club, as well as Bustle's American Woman Book Club.

Her work is multi-disciplinary, dynamic, intersectional and feminist. Over the course of her career, she has worked as a community organizer, a domestic violence court advocate, a probations intake officer, and youth arts educator. While researching her debut novel, BRIGHT LINES, she studied perfumery, amassing a library of 500 fragrant raw materials, which led to the creation of Hi Wildflower, independent beauty & fragrance house.

Currently, she is working on her second novel, STELLAR SMOKE, and a podcast and perfume anthology project, MALA, which features the scents and stories of five formerly incarcerated women.