Fatima Shaik, writer

Fatima Shaik is an American author of several books for adults and children. Her writing explores the human spirit and the intersection of cultures, notably themes of family, community, and justice.

Publishers Weekly called her a "native of New Orleans whose keen ear for dialogue and languid style help capture the special ambiance of Louisiana." What Went Missing and What Got Found is her most recent collection.

Her short stories appeared in the anthologies Streetlights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience, Breaking Ice: Contemporary African American Fiction, and others. The Southern Review, Callaloo, the Killens Review and more journals have published her fiction.

She has freelanced for national and international publications including The New York Times, In These Times, The Root, Essence, Black Enterprise, L'Expansion, Working Woman, and Nikkei Architecture.

She serves as an Assistant Professor at Saint Peter's University where she designed the Communications major curriculum and directed the program for a decade. Previously, she was assistant editor of McGraw-Hill World News and a daily reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

A journalism graduate of Boston University's School of Public Communication and New York University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, she was a Scholar in Residence at NYU and held a literature residency at the Africana Studies Program of the New Orleans Public Schools. She is the recipient of an NEH fellowship, LEH and Kittredge Fund grants.

She is the co-chair of the PEN Children's and Young Adult Books Committee and a Trustee of this international literary and human rights organization.

A member of the Great Migration as she described in her article for the Tribune newspaper (March 2, 2013, see blog page), she now lives in New Orleans and New York.


The true story of 15 free men of African descent who began a secret organization in 1836 that lasted more than 100 years -- and whose records were held until the 21st century by Shaik's father in the family closet.
Streetcar to Calcutta
Filmmaker Kavery Kaul follows Shaik as she retraces her Muslim grandfather's 19th century journey from a small village near Calcutta to the intimate community of 7th ward New Orleans.