Minal Hajratwala (born 1971) is a writer, performer, poet, and queer activist of Indian descent. She was born in 1971 in San Francisco, California, US, and was raised in New Zealand and suburban Michigan. She is a graduate of Stanford University.
She is the author of Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), which Alice Walker has called "incomparable," and The Washington Post has characterized as "searingly honest." She researched and wrote the book during a seven-year period, traveling the world to interview more than 75 members of her extended family.
Hajratwala's creative work has appeared in journals, anthologies, and theater spaces and has received recognition and support from the Sundance Institute, the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, the SerpentSource Foundation, and the Hedgebrook writing retreat for women, where she serves on the Alumnae Leadership Council. For World AIDS Day in 1999, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco commissioned her one-woman show, “Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium.”
She previously worked as a journalist at the San Jose Mercury News for eight years, was a board member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and was a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2000-01.
- 2009 Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents
- 2010 Out! Stories From The New Queer India (editor)
- 2015 Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment
- Roshni Rustomji-Kerns (1995). Living in America: poetry and fiction by South Asian American writers. Westview Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-8133-2379-4. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents profile at its publisher's website
- Shepard, Shadia. "Book Review: 'Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents' By Minal Hajratwala", The Washington Post, 15 March 2009.
- Mackey, Robert. "While Posing as a Syrian Lesbian, Male Blogger Tried to Get a Book Deal." The New York Times. June 22, 2011. Retrieved on July 6, 2011.