Writer of the Week: Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami. Photo courtesy of Xandrr - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44695579Laila Lalami. Photo courtesy of Xandrr - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44695579

Laila Lalami was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. She earned her BA in English from Mohammed V University, and later on, in 1990, received a British Council fellowship to study in England. She completed an MA in Linguistics at University College, in London. She obtained her PhD in Linguistics from University of Southern California.

Screenshot of Lalami's website. Photo courtesy of Lailalalami.com

Screenshot of Lalami’s website. Photo courtesy of Lailalalami.com

Lalami worked as a journalist and commentator in Morocco for a brief period of time. Lalami’s literary career in English started in 1996 when she began to write creative fiction and nonfiction. Her writing is composed mainly of literary criticism and cultural commentary, and most of her writing has appeared in renowned publications such as The Boston Globe, Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, among others.

She has been recognized with the American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award in 2015, the NPR Best Books in 2014, among many others. She was also a Fulbright Fellowship recipient in 2007.

Her writings include Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005), Secret Son (2009), and The Moor’s Account (2014), as well as a collection of short stories.

In addition to being a prolific fictional and nonfictional writer, Lalami is also an avid essayist. In her essays, she discusses a broad category of topics including social justice, history, and literary criticism.

To get more familiar with Lalami’s writing you can visit the author’s website here.