Samantha grew up in the Iraqi Jewish community in London.
Her reading memoir HOW TO BE A HEROINE was published by Chatto & Windus in 2014 (by Vintage and Anchor in the US, and by Albert Bonniers Forlag in Sweden). Her second non-fiction book, TAKE COURAGE: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life was published by Chatto in 2017. Her preface for Persephone Books’ reprint of Amber Reeves’s novel A LADY AND HER HUSBAND was published in spring 2016.
She also writes plays such as Cling to me like Ivy (Birmingham Rep Theatre), Starlore for Beginners and other plays (Theatre 503) and Operation Magic Carpet (Polka Theatre), and is a founding member of women’s theatre company Agent 160. She script-edited Paddington for Heyday Films.
As a journalist, she writes for publications including the Guardian, Observer, Literary Review, Times Literary Supplement, Spectator, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Exeunt, and Intelligent Life.
She has taught a semester in memoir writing at the University of Westminster, and was the chair of judges for the 2016 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Award.