HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Nadia Hashimi

Afghan American Author, Physician, & Advocate


  • Afghan Women: The Endless Struggle for Rights
  • Telling Afghanistan's History through Fiction
  • History and Physical: The Link Between Medicine and Writing
  • The Magic of Writing (For Children)
  • The Fall of Afghanistan


District of Columbia

Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician turned novelist who draws on her Afghan culture to craft internationally bestselling books. With translations in seventeen languages, she’s connected with readers around the world. Hashimi’s books include the breakout novel The Pearl that Broke Its Shell (William Morrow), When The Moon is Low (William Morrow), A House Without Windows (William Morrow), and two middle grade novels One Half from the East (HarperCollins) and The Sky at Our Feet. Hashimi’s most recent book Sparks Like Stars (William Morrow), published in March 2021.

Hashimi’s novels span generations and continents, taking on themes like forced migration, conflict, poverty, misogyny, colonialism, and addiction. She enjoys conversations with readers of all ages and is a frequent speaker at book clubs and festivals, in libraries and classrooms. She’s given multiple keynotes for fundraising events and annual meetings.

Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. Her mother, granddaughter of a notable Afghan poet, traveled to Europe to obtain a Master’s degree in civil engineering and her father came to the United States, where he worked hard to fulfill his American dream and build a new, brighter life for his immediate and extended family. Hashimi was fortunate to be surrounded by a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins, keeping the Afghan culture an integral part of their daily lives.

Hashimi graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Biology. She studied medicine in Brooklyn, New York, and then completed her pediatric residency training at NYU and Bellevue hospitals before moving to Maryland with her husband. On days off from a busy emergency room and after years of avid reading, she began crafting stories that drew on her heritage and the complex experiences of Afghans.

In 2003, she made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents who had not returned to their homeland since leaving in the 1970s. She continues to serve on boards of organizations committed to educating and nurturing Afghanistan’s most vulnerable children and empowering the female leaders of tomorrow. She is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, a board member on the Afghan-American Foundation, the National Leadership Council for Welcome.US, and an advisor to Kallion, an organization that seeks to elevate leadership through humanities.

She and her husband are the beaming parents of four curious, rock star children, and Justice, the hungriest Rhodesian Ridgeback you’ve ever met.

Praise for Nadia Hashimi:

“Nadia Hashimi was a wonderful speaker for our Library Week celebration! Her presentation was well-prepared, well-delivered, and seemed to reach each student so that everyone had something lovely to take away from it. Additionally, she was kind and patient during our small group sessions, addressing each question with thoughtfully tailored replies and taking time to speak to individuals after each session. Our faculty cannot stop raving about her and how her presentation sparked conversation in their own classes!”
--Sandy Veresink, Head Librarian, Notre Dame Preparatory School

“Nadia Hashimi gave a fine 10-minute presentation to an audience of about 100 to introduce herself and her book, The Pearl that Broke its Shell. Her voice was clear and pleasing and her tone warm, yet direct and professional. Her presentation was clearly organized and easy to follow. She judged the audience accurately, giving an appropriate amount of detail, with enough general information to balance it and intrigue her listeners. Although she had probably given similar speeches before, it was no recitation, but seemed fresh and tailored to the group.”
--Barbara Klementz, Chair, American Association of University Women, Fairfax Branch

“Nadia is one of the most down to earth and engaging authors we have had at the library.  Not only are her books timely and readable, she does a wonderful job of drawing in an audience and relating her background and personal writing journey. We would have her back again and again!”
--Bethany Hacker, Harford County Public Library, Just.Write Writers Conference

Praise for Sparks Like Stars:

“The novel is an elegiac tribute to family and civilization—fragile collective entities that should be cherished while they still hold.”
-- Bookpage

Praise for The Pearl that Broke Its Shell:

“Nadia Hashimi has written, first and foremost, a tender and beautiful family story. Her always engaging multigenerational tale is a portrait of Afghanistan in all of its perplexing, enigmatic glory, and a mirror into the still ongoing struggles of Afghan women.”
--Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed and The Kite Runner

“Hashimi weaves together two equally engrossing stories in her epic, spellbinding debut.”
--Booklist (starred review)

“A fascinating look at the unspoken lives of Afghani women, separated by generations and miles, yet achingly similar. This is a story to transport you and make you think.”
--Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Daughter

Praise for When the Moon Is Low:

“Expertly depicting the anxiety and excitement that accompanies a new life, Hashimi’s gripping page-turner is perfect for book clubs.”
-- Library Journal (starred review)