Please note: This bibliography is comprehensive, but not complete. If you would like to suggest other titles, please contact us.

There is an enormous amount of literature on autobiography. Some useful general works are:

Anderson, Linda. Autobiography (London and New York: Routledge, 2001).

Benstock, Shari (ed.). The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1988).

Burton, Antoinette. Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India (New York, 2003).

Conway, Jill Ker. When Memory Speaks: Exploring the Art of Autobiography (New York: Vintage, 1998).

Folkenflik, Robert. The Culture of Autobiography: Constructions of Self Representation (Stanford University Press, 1993).

Gagnier, Regenia. Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain, 1832-1920. (New York and Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991)

Glenn, Myra C. Jack Tar’s Story: The Autobiographies and Memoirs of Sailors in Antebellum America (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Guha, Ramachandra. The Last Liberal and Other Essays (Delhi, Permanent Black, 2004), esp. ch. 7: ‘The Arts of Autobiography’.

Harte, Liam. Modern Irish Autobiography: Self, Nation and Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Hassan, Kathryn. Stages of Life: Indian Theatre Autobiographies (Permanent Black, 2011).

Moore-Gilbert, Bart. Postcolonial Life-Writing: culture, politics and self-representation (Routledge, 2009).

Peterson, Linda H. Traditions of Victorian Women’s Autobiography: The Poetics and Politics of Life Writing (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1991).

Popkin, Jeremy. History, Historians and Autobiography. Chicago 2005.

Smith, Sidonie and Julia Watson (eds). De/Colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender in Women’s Autobiography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992).

Smith, Sidonie and Julia Watson (eds). Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998).

Smith, Sidonie and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide to Interpreting Life Narratives (University of Minnesota Press, 2002)

Smith, Sidonie. A Poetics of Women’s Autobiography: Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987).

Spengemann, William C. Forms of Autobiography: Episodes in the History of a Literary Genre (Yale, 1980)

Stanley, Liz. The Auto’biographical I (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992).

Weintraub, Karl Joachim. Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography (Chicago, 1976)

Zinsser, William (ed.). Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998).


On autobiography in the Muslim world, you may wish to consult the following:

Akyildiz, Olcay, Halim Kara and Borte Sagaster (eds). Autobiographical Themes in Turkish Literature: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (Istanbul, 2007).

Arnold, David and Stuart Blackburn (eds). Telling Lives in India: Biography, Autobiography, and Life History (Delhi, 2004).

Booth, Marilyn. May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in EgyptBerkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001.

Booth, Marilyn (ed.). ‘Women’s Autobiography in South Asia and the Middle East’, Journal of Women’s History 25:2 (Summer 2013) []

Fay, Mary Ann (ed.). Auto/Biography and the Construction of Identity and Community in the Middle East (New York, 2001).

Golley, Nawar Al-Hassan. Reading Arab Women’s Autobiographies: Shahrazad tells her story. Austin: Texas University Press, 2003.

Kramer, Martin (ed.). Middle Eastern Lives: The Practice of Biography and Self-Narrative (Syracus, 1991).
Malhotra, Anshu and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley (eds.). Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance, and Autobiography in South Asia (Duke University Press, 2015).

Micallef, Roberta and Sunil Sharma (eds). On the Wonders of Land & Sea: Persianate Travel Writing (Ilex Foundation, 2013).

Najmabadi, Afsaneh (ed.). Women’s Autobiographies in Contemporary Iran (Cambridge, 1990).

Reynolds, Dwight F. (ed.). Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (Berkeley, 2001).

Robinson, Francis. ‘Religious Change and the Self in Muslim South Asia’ in Islam and Muslim History in South Asia (Delhi, 2000), pp. 105-21.

Rodgers, Susan. Telling Lives, Telling History: Autobiography and Historical Imagination in Modern Indonesia (Berkeley, 1995), introduction.

Rosenthal, F. A History of Muslim Historiography (Leiden, 1952).

von Grunebaum, Gustave E. ‘Self-Expression: Literature and History’ in Medieval Islam, 2nd ed. (Chicago, 1952).

Whitlock, Gillian. Soft Weapons: Autobiography in Transit (University of Chicago Press, 2006).

Yaqin, Amina. ‘Truth, Fiction and Autobiography in the Modern Urdu Narrative Tradition’, Comparative Critical Studies, 4 (3), pp. 379-402.


Also see relevant publications of the international research network, ‘Women’s Autobiography in Islamic Societies’, on their website []





Scholars and Saints

Chittick, William (ed.). Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shems-i Tabrizi (Fons Vitae, 2004).

Hasan, Mushirul (ed.). Seamless Boundaries: Lutfullah’s Narrative beyond East and West (Oxford University Press, 2007).

Hasan, Mushirul (ed.). Westward Bound: Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Naim, C.M. (ed.). Zikr-i-Mir: The Autobiography of the Eighteenth Century Mughal Poet: Mir Muhammad Taqi ‘Mir’ (1723-1810) (Oxford University Press, 1999)

Contemplation and Action: The Spiritual Autobiography of a Muslim Scholar: Nasir al-Din Tusi (1998).

The Memoirs of Aga Khan: The World Enough and Time (London: Cassell and Company Ltd, 1954).


State Servants and Opponents

A P J Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography (Universities Press, 1999).

Ahdaf Soueif, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution (Bloomsbury, 2012).

Ali Soufan, The Black Banners: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda (Penguin, 2012).

Alija Izetbegovic, Inescapable Questions: Autobiography of Alija Izetbegovic (Former President of Bosnia-Herzegovina) (Leicester, 2002).

Asiye Güzel, Asiye’s Story (London: Saqi Books, 2003).

Badruddin Tyabji, Memoirs of an Egoist, 2 Vols (New Delhi: Roli Books, 1988).

Haleh Esfandiari, My Prison, My Home (Harper Press, 2010).

Lt. Gen. Gul Hassan Khan, Memoirs of Lt. Gen. Gul Hassan Khan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Farah Pahlavi, An Enduring Love: My Life with the Shah – A Memoir (Miramax Books, 2004).

Houshang Abadi, Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran (Oneworld, 2010).

Imran Khan, Pakistan: A Personal History (Bantam Press, 2011).

Javid Malik, Encounters with Destiny: Autobiographical Reflections, trans. Hafeez Malik and Nasira Iqbal (Karachi, OUP, 2006),

Leila Khaled, My People Shall Live: The Autobiography of a Revolutionary (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1973).

Leyla Zana, Writings from Prison (Watertown, MA: Blue Crane Books, 1999).

M. Attiqur Rahman, Back to the Pavillion (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Malika Oufkir, Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail. New York: Talk Miramax Books, 1999.

Mirza M. Ismail, My Public Life (1954)

Munevera Hadzisehovic, A Muslim Woman in Tito’s Yugoslavia, trans. Thomas Butler and Saba Risaluddin (Texas A&M University Press, 2003).

Samar Yazbek and Max Weiss, A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution (Haus Publishing, 2012).

Shafiq al-Hout, My Life in the PLO: The Inside Story of the Palestinian Struggle (Pluto Press, 2010).

Shahla Talebi, Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran (Stanford University Press, 2010).

Soha Bechara. Resistance: My Life for Lebanon (Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2003).

Syed Shahid Husain, What Was Once East Pakistan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Zahra Ghahramani with Robert Hillman, My Life as a Traitor: A Story of Courage and Survival in Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison (Bloomsbury, 2009).


Reformist Tales

‘Memoirs’ in Syed Razi Wasti, Memoirs and Other Writings of Syed Ameer Ali (Delhi, 1968).

Dr. Md. Mohar Ali, Autobiography and other writings of Nawab Abdul Latif Khan Bahadur. Chittagong: The Mehrub Publications, 1968.

Muhammad Yunus with Alan Jolis, Banker to the Poor: The Autobiography of Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Sultan Jahan Begam of Bhopal, An Account of My Life, vols I-III (London: John Murray, 1910, 1912; Bombay: The Times Press, 1922, 1927).

Taha Husayn, An Egyptian Childhood (1981).

“The Autobiography of Tyabji Bhoymeeah,” edited and with introduction and notes by Asaf A.A. Ali, Journal of Asiatic Society of Bombay (New Series), vol. 36-37 1961-62, published by society in April 1964.


Healers and Educators

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley and Sunil Sharma, Atiya’s Journeys: A Muslim Woman from Colonial Bombay to Edwardian Britain (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Hamida Saiduzzafar, Autobiography, ed. Lola Chatterji (Delhi: Trianka, 1996).

Latifa, My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban. A Young Woman’s Story (Virago, 2002).

Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by The Taliban (Little Brown and Company, 2013).

Sattareh Farman Farmaian, Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution (1993)


The Muslim Prince

The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, translated, edited and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston (New York, 2002)

Gulbadan Begam, The History of Humayun, trans. Annette S. Beveridge (1902).

Emile Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar (Dover, 2009).

Jahanara Habibullah Remembrance of Days Past (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001)

The Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India, translated, edited and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston (New York, 1999).

Princess Mehrunissa of Rampur, An Extraordinary Life (Noida: Brijbasi Art Press Ltd, 2006).

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, The Shah’s Story: An Autobiography (London, 1980).

Biti Kahani: Autobiography of Princess Shahr Bano Begam of Pataudi, trans. Tahera Aftab (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Sidq Jaisi, trans. Narendra Luther, The Nocturnal Court: Darbaar-e-Darbaar – The Life of a Prince of Hyderabad (Delhi, OUP, 2004).

A Princess’s Pilgrimage: Nawab Sikandar Begum’s “A Pilgrimage to Mecca”, ed. Siobhan Lambert-Hurley (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

Sultan Jahan Begam of Bhopal, An Account of My Life, vols I-III (London: John Murray, 1910, 1912; Bombay: The Times Press, 1922, 1927).

Taj ul-Sultana, Crowning Anguish: Memoirs of a Persian Princess from the Harem to Modernity (1993).


Nationalist Ideals

Asaf Ali, Memoirs: The Emergence of Modern India (1994).

Memoirs of Halidé Edib, intro. Hulya Adak (Gorgias Press, 2005)

House with Wisteria: Memoirs of Halide Edib, intro. by Sibel Erol (2003).

Huda Shaarawi, Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist, 1879-1924, trans. Margot Badran (London, 1986)

Memoirs of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy with a brief account of his life and work, ed. Mohammad H.R. Talukdar, foreword by Dr Kamal Hossain [Dhaka, University Press Limited, 1987)

Jahan Ara Shahnawaz, Father & Daughter: A Political Autobiography (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Mohamed Ali, My Life: A Fragment: An Autobiographical Sketch of Maulana Mohamed Ali, ed. and annotated by Mushirul Hasan (Delhi: Manohar, 1999)

Shaista Ikramullah, From Purdah to Parliament (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Susan Rodgers, Telling Lives, Telling History: Autobiography and Historical Imagination in Modern Indonesia (Berkeley, 1995).


Women Activists & Feminists

Abida Sultaan, Memoirs of a Rebel Princess (2004)

Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Harper Perennial, 2008).

Azar Nafisi, Things I’ve been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter (Windmill Books, 2010).

Bibish, The Dancer from Khiva: One Muslim Woman’s Quest for Freedom (2008).

Evelyne Accad, The Wounded Breast: Intimate Journeys through Cancer (North Melbourne: Spinifex, 2001).

Fadhma Amrouche, My Life Story: The Autobiography of a Berber Woman, trans. and with an introduction by Dorothy S. Blair (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989).

Fay Afaf. Kanafani, Nadia Captive of Hope: Memoir of an Arab Woman. Armonk: East Gate (M.E. Sharpe), 1999.Hanan  al-Shaykh, The Locust and the Bird: My Mother’s Story (Bloomsbury, 2010)

Huda Shaarawi, Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist, 1879-1924, trans. Margot Badran (London, 1986)

Khadija. Al-Salami, The Tears of Sheba: Tales of Survival and Intrigue in Arabia (Chichester: Wiley, 2003).

Kishwar Naheed, A Bad Woman’s Story: A Translation of Buri Aurat ki Katha, trans. Durdana Soomro (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Marina Nemat, Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman’s Story of Survival Inside a Torture Jail (London: John Murray, 2007)

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (Vintage, 2008)

Nawal El Saadawi, A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi (Zed Books, 2009).

Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui, I am Nujood, Aged 10 and Divorced (Three Rivers Press, 2010).

Salma Ahmed, Cutting Free: An Autobiography, (Karachi, 2002).

Sattareh Farman Farmaian, Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem Through the Islamic Revolution (1993)

Selma Ekrem, Unveiled: The Autobiography of a Turkish Girl, intro. Carolyn Goffman (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Pres, 2005).

Shirin Ebadi, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (2006).

Taslima Nasreen, My Girlhood: An Autobiography, trans. Gopa Majumdar (Delhi: Kali for Women, 2001).

Taslima Nasreen, Wild Wind: My Stormy Youth: An Autobiography, trans. Nandini Guha (New Delhi: Srishti, 2006)

Tehmina Durrani, My Feudal Lord: A Devastating Indictment of Women’s Role in Muslim Society (Bantam, 1994). 

Literary Lives

Ahdaf Soueif, Cairo: My City, Our Revolution (Bloomsbury, 2012).

Akhtar Husain Raipuri, Dust of the Road: A Translation of Gard-e-Raah (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Bilquis Jehan Khan, A Song of Hyderabad: Memories of a World Gone By (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Fadwa Tuqan, A Mountainous Journey: A Poet’s Autobiography, trans. Olive Kenny (Saint Paul: Graywolf, 1990).

Hameeda Akhtar Husain Raipuri, My Fellow Traveller: A Translation of Humsafar (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Ismat: Her Life, Her Times, ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar and Sadique (New Delhi: Katha, 2000)

Latifa Al-Zayyat, The SearchPersonal Papers, trans. Sophie Bennett (London: Quartet, 1996).

Leila Abouzeid, Return to Childhood: The Memoir of a Modern, Moroccan Woman (Austin, TX: The Centre for Middle East Studies, 1998).

Shaukat Kaifi, Kaifi and I, trans. Nasreen Rehman (Zubaan, 2010)


A Life on the Stage

Jean Said Maqdisi, Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir (New York: Persea Books, 1990).

Joan Erdman and Zohra Segal, Stages: The Art and Adventures of Zohra Segal (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1997).

Kathryn Hansen, Stages of Life: Autobiographies from the Parsi Theatre (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2011).

A Woman of Substance: the Memoirs of Begum Khurshid Mirza, ed. Lubna Kazim with foreword by Gail Minault (New Delhi: Zubaan, 2005)

Malka Pukhraj, Song Sung True: A Memoir, trans. Saleem Kidwai (Delhi: Kali for Women, 2003).

Nesta Ramazani, The Dance of the Rose and the Nightingale (Syracuse University Press, 2001)

Qamar Azad Hashmi, The Fifth Flame: The Story of Safdar Hashmi, tr. from Urdu original by Madhu Prasad & Sohail Hashmi (New Delhi: Penguin, 1997).


Immigrant Journeys

Afschineh Latifi, Even After All This Time: A Story of Love, Revolution, and Leaving Iran (New York: Regan Books, 2005).

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel (Free Press, 2007).

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2011)

Azadeh Moaveni, Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran (PublicAffairsUS, 2006).

Azadeh Moaveni, Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran (Random House, 2010).

Farid Esack, On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today (Oneworld, 1999).

Fatima Mernissi, Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood (Perseus Books, 1995).

Fawzia Afzal Khan, Lahore with Love: Growing up with Girlfriends Pakistani Style (Insanity Ink, 2010).

Jasmin Darznik, The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life (Grand Central Publishing, 2011).

Leila Ahmed, A Border Passage: From Cairo to America – A Woman’s Journey (Penguin, 1999).

Leila, Married By Force, trans. Sue Rose (Portrait, 2007).

Mai Ghoussoub, Leaving Beirut: Women and the Wars Within (London: Saqi Books, 1998).

Randa Abdel-Fattah, Does My Head Look Big in This? (Marion Lloyd Books, 2006).

Ranya Tabari Idliby, Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America (PalgraveMacmillan, 2014).

Saira Ahmed, Disgraced: Forced to Marry a Stranger, Betrayed by My Own Family, Sold My Body to Survive, This is My Story (Headline Review, 2009).

Sameem Ali, Belonging (John Murray, 2008).

Sara Suleri, Boys will be Boys (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003)

Sara Suleri, Meatless Days (Chicago, 1987)

Shelina Zahra Janmohamed, Love in a Headscarf: Muslim Woman Seeks The One (Aurum Press Ltd, 2009).

Yasmin Hai, The Making of Mr Hai’s Daughter: Becoming British – A Memoir (Virago, 2008).

Zaiba Malik, We are Muslim, Please (Windmill Books, 2011).

Zana Muhsen, Sold: Story of Modern-day Slavery (Sphere, 1991).