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Laila Lalami


Office: 4127 INTS
E-mail: laila.lalami@ucr.edu

Personal Website

Laila Lalami is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and The Moor’s Account, which was a New York Times Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, and a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year. It won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, was on the Man Booker Prize long-list and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 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 many anthologies. Her work has been translated into ten languages. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.


  • Ph.D. Linguistics. 1997. University of Southern California.
  • M.A. Linguistics. 1991. University College London, University of London.
  • B.A. English Language and Literature. 1990. Universite Mohammed-V


  • The Moor's Account. Pantheon, 2014.
  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. Algonquin Books, 2005. Harcourt, 2006.
  • Secret Son. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books, 2009.

Short Stories

  • "The Trip." Translated into German as "Harragas." Lisan Verlag. May 2008.
  • "The Turning Tide." Elle India. April 2008. Translated into Italian as "Il destino nelle onde." Internazionale Magazine. December 2007.
  • "El Dorado." First Intensity. Fall 2005.
  • "Better Luck Tomorrow." The Baltimore Review. January 2005.
  • "The Lessons." Mizna. December 2004.


  • "The Dot Matrix." The Nation. January 21, 2008. 
  • "Beyond the Veil." The Nation. December 10, 2007. 
  • "Revenants." The Nation. November 22, 2007. 
  • "Native Speaker." The Boston Review. September/October 2006. 
  • "The Missionary Position." The Nation. June 19, 2006.
  • "Exile and the Kingdom." The Nation. March 20, 2006.
  • "Colonial encounters." The Nation. September 26, 2005. 


  • "Looking Past Cliches." The Nation. May 6, 2008.
  • "The Fear Factor in the Campaign." The Boston Globe. April 19, 2008. 
  • "The Fake Prince of Facebook." The Nation. February 21, 2008.
  • "Censorship's New Clothes." The New York Times. February 3, 2007. Reprinted in the International Herald Tribune. February 5, 2007.

Prizes and Awards

  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. 2006.
  • "The Fanatic" (from Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits), short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing (the "African Booker"). 2006.
  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Prize, awarded by Binghamton University. 2006.


  • Fulbright Fellowship to Morocco. November 2006-August 2007.
  • Fletcher Pratt Fellowship in Fiction. Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. August 2006.
  • Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. 2006.
  • British Council Graduate Fellowship. 1990-1991.