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.


Summer is here at last! I’m spending my days reading (and also watching the World Cup.) I’ve always loved the long hours of uninterrupted reading in the summer, though this year it’s busier than usual, as I’m chairing the fiction panel judging the National Book Awards. But I do have a few pieces that have come out here and there since my last update.


For The Nation, I wrote about the distort...

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Published on July 06, 2018 15:15 • 11 views
Average rating: 3.85 · 9,480 ratings · 1,459 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Moor's Account

3.96 avg rating — 5,693 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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Hope & Other Dangerous Purs...

3.67 avg rating — 1,420 ratings — published 2005 — 13 editions
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Secret Son: A Novel

3.41 avg rating — 1,029 ratings — published 2009 — 12 editions
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The Other Americans

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Season of Migration to the ...

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3.71 avg rating — 15,106 ratings — published 1966 — 44 editions
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The Granta Book of the Afri...

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3.93 avg rating — 235 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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Gods and Soldiers: The Peng...

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3.74 avg rating — 117 ratings — published 2009 — 5 editions
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The Curious Case of Dassouk...

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3.79 avg rating — 141 ratings — published 2012 — 6 editions
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Dismantle: An Anthology of ...

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4.42 avg rating — 36 ratings — published 2014
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A Stranger Among Us: Storie...

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3.78 avg rating — 37 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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Summer is here at last! I’m spending my days reading (and also watching the World Cup.) I’ve always loved the long hours of uninterrupted reading i... Read more of this blog post »
Laila made a comment on In Azemmur
" 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: A Novel

“A name is precious; it carries inside it a language, a history, a set of traditions, a particular way of looking at the world. Losing it meant losing my ties to all those things too.”
Laila Lalami, The Moor's Account

“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: A Novel

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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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