Laila Lalami

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Laila Lalami

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Born
Morocco
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Member Since
September 2008


Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. She is the author of the short story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and the novel Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in numerous anthologies. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. Her new novel, The Moor’s Account, will be published by Pantheon in September 2014.

desert flowers


What a busy spring this turned out to be. For the last two months, I’ve been working and traveling almost constantly. But somehow I’m making steady progress on my new novel. I’ve also written several columns for The Nation, on subjects such as the Cologne attacks, cries of political correctness, and the rise of the far right amid fears of change. In March, I joined the L.A. Times Book Review...

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Published on May 16, 2016 16:55 • 24 views
Average rating: 3.81 · 6,027 ratings · 1,003 reviews · 9 distinct works · Similar authors
The Moor's Account

3.95 avg rating — 3,265 ratings — published 2014 — 15 editions
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Hope and Other Dangerous Pu...

3.67 avg rating — 1,036 ratings — published 2005 — 12 editions
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Secret Son

3.38 avg rating — 822 ratings — published 2009 — 12 editions
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Season of Migration to the ...

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3.71 avg rating — 10,994 ratings — published 1966 — 63 editions
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The Granta Book of the Afri...

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3.96 avg rating — 171 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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Gods and Soldiers: The Peng...

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3.75 avg rating — 99 ratings — published 2009 — 5 editions
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Dismantle: An Anthology of ...

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4.47 avg rating — 30 ratings — published 2014
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A Stranger Among Us: Storie...

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3.86 avg rating — 29 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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The Curious Case of Dassouk...

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3.75 avg rating — 63 ratings — published 2012 — 6 editions
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" I listed some of the sources in the acknowledgments section of the novel. So that's a good place to start. "
Laila has read
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
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Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
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The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer
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Sandpiper by Ahdaf Soueif
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Aisha by Ahdaf Soueif
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I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif
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More of Laila's books…
“He needed time to adjust to real life, where heroes and villains could not be told apart by their looks or their accents, where there were no last minute reversals of fortune.”
Laila Lalami, Secret Son

“His anger took many shapes: sometimes soft and familiar, like a round stone he had caressed for so long that is was perfectly smooth and polished; sometimes it was thin and sharp like a blade that could slice through anything; sometimes it had the form of a star, radiating his hatred in all directions, leaving him numb and empty inside.”
Laila Lalami, Secret Son

“To overcome my fear, I shackled myself with hope, its links heavier than any metal known to man.”
Laila Lalami, The Moor's Account
tags: fear, hope

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message 1: by Roger

Roger Cottrell HI Laila,
I'm really glad that you got back. Your work sounds fantastic. I'm currently working on a political thriller set in Iran but will be starting one shortly based in Algeria. A French middle class filmmaker of Algerian origin gets permission to go to Algeria (during the civil conflict) to make a sequel to the classic movie The Battle of Algiers. He's also trying to find out what happened to his friend from University, a Kabyle Berber who was a staunch Stalinist before the collapse of the USSR who seems to have become an oil executive then been killed by Islamicist terrorists. The protagonist falls for his friend's sister then begins to realise that he isn't actually dead. Thematically, it's a remake of The Third Man by Carrol Reed, Graham Greene and Orson Wells with "Harry Lime" manipulating Islamic terrorism to drive the indigenous Berber population out of an oil rich part of Kabyle.


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