Tanaïs, is a name I've given myself, is a portmanteau of the first two letters of my three names — a name that came to me after appearing on that list as a Muslim woman writer. I wanted to find a meridian between identities that honor where I’ve come from and where I am headed.
Tanaïs (née Tanwi Nandini Islam) is a writer and perfumer based in New York City. They are the author of the critically-acclaimed novel BRIGHT LINES (Penguin 2015), which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize. Their work is multi-disciplinary, dynamic, intersectional and feminist. Over the course of their career, they’ve worked as a community organizer, a domestic violence court advocate, a probations intake officer, and youth arts educator. While researching their debut novel, BRIGHT LINES (PENGUIN 2015), Tanaïs studied perfumery, amassing a library of 500 fragrant raw materials, which led to the creation of Hi Wildflower, an award-winning beauty and fragrance brand.
Constant evolution and growth compelled Tanaïs to imagine new scents inspired by their next book, IN SENSORIUM: Notes for My People (HARPER COLLINS FEBRUARY 2022), which explores scent, sensuality, South Asian and Muslim perfume cultures, colonization and its aftermath: the environmental and border crises around the world.