Pooja Makhijani was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Edison, New Jersey. She attended Johns Hopkins University, where she received a degree in biomedical engineering. Pooja also received her Masters in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.
Makhijani's work has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Newark Star-Ledger, The Indian Express, Time Out New York, India Today, Writing, Weekly Reader, and Time Out New York Kids among others. She is the editor of Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press, November 2004), an anthology of essays by women that explores the complex ways in which race shapes American lives and families. She is also the author of Mama's Saris (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2007). Mama's Saris tells the story of a precocious girl's desire to dress up in her mother's beautiful saris. Pooja is the proud receiver of the 2003 Magazine Award Honor in Nonfiction by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her essay, "The First Time," in the November/December 2003 issue of Cicada.
Pooja is also deeply interested in using memoir and storytelling to discuss and deconstruct the idea of race. She has conducted several writing workshops for young adults on this topic. In addition, she teaches writing and children's literature at Western Connecticut State University's new MFA in Professional Writing program.
Pooja currently resides in New York City with her husband.