Tamim Ansary biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Tamim Ansary
Photo: Martin Klimek

Tamim Ansary

How to pronounce Tamim Ansary: tuh-MEEM un-saw-REE

Tamim Ansary Biography

Ansary grew up in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. He was named after Tamim-i-Ansar, one of two brothers who conquered Afghanistan for Islam 1200 years ago and who now lie buried in matching 12-foot-long marble tombs atop a hill overlooking the artists and poets cemetery. Ansary’s father taught science and literature at Kabul University, and his American mother taught English at the first girls’ school in Afghanistan. His relatives lived throughout the city and in the nearby grape-growing village of Deh Yahya.

Then the family moved to Lashkargah, a small town in the middle of the desert in southwestern Afghanistan, the headquarters of a vast American-funded project to make the desert bloom.

In 1964, Ansary got a scholarship to an American high school, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and moved to America. Six years later he graduated with honors from Reed College and soon thereafter plunged into the sixties counterculture like a dog into surf; he wrote for an “alternative” weekly called The Portland Scribe, lived in communes, worked in restaurants, wrote obscure, experimental fiction, and quit his job often in order to hit the road and have adventures.

In 1980, Ansary traveled through North Africa and Turkey to explore Islam and found Islamism instead. It took him 14 years of working as a textbook editor for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich to recover from the shock. After 9/11, however, he hit the road again, this time to visit Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and to make a journey to Kabul. After that, he took a long nap.

A regular columnist for Microsoft’s learning site Encarta.com, Ansary has written nonfiction books for children, jokes for a mathematics program (“edutainment” software), a literary memoir, several novels for “reluctant readers,” a series of educational comic books called Adventures Plus, countless letters to friends, and one two-line play.

His commentary has been heard on the Bill Moyers Show, the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Hardball, and numerous National Public Radio stations.

Partial Bibliography

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (May 2009)
West of Kabul, East of New York (2002, memoir)
The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky by Farah Ahmedi with Tamim Ansary

Biography from the author's website Aug 2009

Tamim Ansary's website

This bio was last updated on 10/17/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Tamim Ansary at BookBrowse
The Other Side of the Sky jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tamim Ansary but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Edwidge Danticat

    Edwidge Danticat

    Since the publication of her debut work Breath, Eyes, Memory in 1994, Edwidge Danticat has won praise as one of America's brightest, most graceful and vibrant young writers. In this novel, and in her National Book ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Other Side of the Sky

    Try:
    Breath, Eyes, Memory
    by Edwidge Danticat

  • Khaled Hosseini

    Khaled Hosseini

    Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a diplomat with the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and History at a large high school in Kabul. In 1970, the Foreign Ministry ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Other Side of the Sky

    Try:
    The Kite Runner
    by Khaled Hosseini

We recommend 7 similar authors

View all 7 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...
  • Book Jacket: Code Name Lise
    Code Name Lise
    by Larry Loftis
    Odette Sansom (1912 – 1995), a Frenchwoman married to a British man and living in the English ...
  • Book Jacket: Watch Us Rise
    Watch Us Rise
    by Renee Watson, Ellen Hagen
    Jasmine and Chelsea are about to enter their junior year at New York City's progressive Amsterdam ...

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man
by Jonas Jonasson

The hysterical, clever, and unforgettable sequel to Jonas Jonasson's international bestseller.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C I Next T G

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.