Alisa Ganieva was born in Moscow in 1965 but grew up in Dagestan. Her family was of Avar descent. She moved back to Moscow in 2002 and graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. She has since worked as a literary critic. She came to fame when she wrote Салам тебе, Далгат! [Salaam, Dalgat!] under a male pseudonym and only revealed her identity when the book won the Debut literary prize. In addition to her novels, she has published short stories and fairy tales.