Lady K's blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spotlight author: Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami is a Moroccan writer. She was born and raised in Morocco and had her B.A. in Linguistics at Université Mohammed-V in Rabat in 1991. After that she had a scholarship and decided to complete her M.A. in University College London in linguistics.

Afterwards, she worked briefly as a journalist in Morocco but decided to go to the United States to the University of Southern California to have a PhD.

Her work as an essayist and a critic has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere. She was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing (the “African Booker”) in 2006 and for the National Book Critics’ Circle Nona Balakian Award in 2009.

Her debut collection of short stories, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was published in the fall of 2005 and has since been translated into six languages. Her first novel, Secret Son, was published in the spring of 2009. She is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside.

This writer is close to my heart because she is a Moroccan, obviously, which means that English is her third language. But she worked hard to be the person she is now and to achieve her goals, or at least some of them. I’m proud of her work and can’t wait to read her last book.

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