Laila Lalami

Writer

Lalami’s 2014 novel “The Moor’s Account” won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was on the Man Booker Prize longlist. She is a columnist for “The Nation” and has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and a Lannan Foundation Residency fellowship. Born in Morocco, Lalami has a PhD in linguistics from USC and teaches at UC Riverside. 

Recent Articles

  • Laila Lalami on the public writer vs. the private self

    Laila Lalami on the public writer vs. the private self

    Reader, I have two selves. For many months, or sometimes years, I work on a novel in the privacy of my home. Each book presents problems of its own: characters that are not yet fully alive, subplots that threaten to overtake the main story, a narrative structure that needs to be rethought. Whatever...

  • Laila Lalami's Great American Novel: 'Song of Solomon' by Toni Morrison

    Laila Lalami's Great American Novel: 'Song of Solomon' by Toni Morrison

    To ask about The Great American Novel is to invite a debate about every portion of the phrase. Why use the definite article, which suggests that only one book can lay claim to the title? What parameters do we use to define greatness? In this era of global migration, some of which is documented...

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