G. Willow WilsonNovelist, Essayist

The Butterfly Mosque/ Women in Islam: a memoir about life in Egypt


G. Willow Wilson is a gifted young author whose writing explores, across multiple genres, the most pressing issues of our time. An American convert to Islam, Willow lives today in both Egypt and the United States. Her articles, graphic novels and books reflect her extraordinary cross-cultural experiences with remarkable originality and courage.

Willow began her writing career at the age of 17 as a freelance music critic for Boston’s Weekly Dig magazine. Since then, she’s written the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series Air and Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice and the graphic novel Cairo. In a field typically dominated by male novelists Willow stands out no less than the strong female characters she creates. Her first novel, Alif the Unseen, was a New York Times Notable Book and a contender for the Orange Prize (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction).

In her early twenties Willow moved to Egypt where she spent several years working as a journalist. She was the first westerner to be granted a private interview with Sheikh Ali Gomaa after his promotion to the position of Grand Mufti of Egypt. Her articles about the Middle East and modern Islam have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly and the Canada National Post. Willow’s memoir about life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime, The Butterfly Mosque, was named a Seattle Times Best Book of 2010 and has served as a common read for communities and campuses across the country.

Seattle and Cairo are home for Willow. She lives with her husband and two young daughters.