Born in Montréal, Mariam Pal spent her childhood in Victoria, B.C. where Ballet is not for Muslim Girls is set. Mariam returned to Montréal four decades ago to study economics and law at McGill. A former resident of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and Manila, Philippines, Mariam has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa. She is retired from careers in economic development and immigration law and lives in Montreal with her musician husband, Eli. In retirement she grows garlic, bakes a mean focaccia bread and is working on her second book, Eating Pineapple Upside Down Cake in Monrovia.