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Laila Lalami

Biography

Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain and the United States. She the author of four novels, including THE MOOR'S ACCOUNT, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent work, THE OTHER AMERICANS, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, The Guardian and The New York Times. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

Laila Lalami

Books by Laila Lalami

by Laila Lalami - Autobiography, Biography, Nonfiction

What does it mean to be American? In this impassioned book, Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth --- such as national origin, race, and gender --- that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still their shadows today. Lalami poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained that keeps the modern equivalent of white make landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people with whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.

by Laila Lalami - Fiction, Mystery

Late one spring night in California, Driss Guerraoui --- father, husband, business owner, Moroccan immigrant --- is hit and killed by a speeding car. The aftermath of his death brings together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui's daughter, Nora, a jazz composer returning to the small town in the Mojave she thought she'd left for good; her mother, Maryam, who still pines for her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora’s and an Iraqi War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son’s secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself. As these characters tell their stories, connections among them emerge.

by Laila Lalami - Fiction, Historical Fiction

In 1527, a crew of six hundred men sailed from Spain, intending to claim for the Spanish crown what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. Within a year there were only four survivors, including the slave, Estebanico. After six years of enslavement by Native Americans, the four men escaped and wandered through what is now Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Moor's Account brilliantly captures Estebanico's voice and vision, showing how, contrary to popular belief, black men played a significant part in New World exploration