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About the author

This book series arises from my academic research on early Sufism—especially early pious, mystic, and Sufi women—and my personal stumbling as a Muslim on the Sufi path for the past thirty years. I was as a professor at Skidmore College and the University of Toronto teaching courses on Islam, Sufism, and Gender. I am presently a visiting research fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. I’m the child of storytellers, so I suppose this was inevitable, the comedian Phil Silvers and Evelyn Silvers, a woman of Irish descent who advised that the truth should never get in the way of a good story. I’ve tried to make the truth into a good story. These books arise out of my desire to talk about the people and places of this time beyond the constraints of academic skepticism. They are my love song to these early pious folk, mystics, and Sufis as people—who lived in a particular historical moment with all its complications—and my experience of Islam. I live in Toronto with my partner, Michael and my doggo, Billie Girl, and near my stepdaughters, Kaya and Mishi, their partners Ryan and Ben, and their mother, Eleonore. I am also a family member of a beautiful, inclusive, local Muslim Sufi order.