|Nationality||Morocco, United States|
|Notable works||The Moor's Account (2014)|
|Author photo, 2014|
|Criticism and awards|
Laila Lalami (Arabic: ليلى العلمي, born 1968) is a Moroccan American novelist and essayist. After earning her undergraduate degree in Morocco, she received a fellowship to study in England, where she earned an MA in linguistics.
In 1992 Lalami moved to the United States, completing a PhD in linguistics at the University of Southern California. She began publishing her writing in 1996, and in 2015 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for her novel, The Moor's Account (2014), which received strong critical praise.
Lalami was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco, where she earned her B.A. in English from Université Mohammed V. In 1990, she received a British Council fellowship to study in England and completed a M.A. in Linguistics at University College London. After graduating, she returned to Morocco and worked briefly as a journalist and commentator. In 1992 she moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California, from which she graduated with a Ph.D. in Linguistics.
Lalami began writing fiction and nonfiction in English in 1996. She has published literary criticism and political essays in The Boston Globe, Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and elsewhere.
Her debut collection of stories, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was released in the fall of 2005 and has since been translated into six languages. Her first novel, Secret Son (2009), was longlisted for the Orange Prize.
Her novel, The Moor's Account (2014), based on Estavanico, the historic first black explorer of America and one of four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
For The Moor's Account
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Finalist, 2015
- Hurston-Wright Legacy Award Nominee, 2015
- The Wall Street Journal Best Books, 2014
- NPR Best Books, 2014
- The New York Times Notable Books, 2014
- Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books, 2014
- 2013, Elizabeth George Foundation "Women Authoring Change" Fellowship.
- 2012, Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship.
- 2010, Orange Prize longlist.
- 2009, Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, Finalist.
- 2009, Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum.
- 2007, Fulbright Fellowship.
For Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
- 2006, Fletcher Pratt Fellowship in Fiction, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
- 2006, Oregon Book Award, Finalist.
- 2006, Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction.
- 2006, Caine Prize for African Writing, Finalist.
- 2006, John Gardner Fiction Prize, Finalist.
- 2003, Morocco-British Council Literary Prize for the Short Story.
- 1990, British Council Fellowship.
- Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. ISBN 1-56512-493-6)
- Secret Son (Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC, 2009. ISBN 1-56512-494-4)
- The Moor's Account (Pantheon Books, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-0307911667)
- Essay: Laila Lalami, World Literature Today website
- Interview, Writers & Books, 2008.
- Profile Thorne, John. The National
- "Levy, Mantel battle 7 debut novels for Orange prize"Reuters
- Review Los Angeles Times
- Pulitzer Citation, The Pulitzer Prizes
- Press Release YGL Honorees 2009.
- UCR UCR Creative Writing
- Pulitzer Citation The Pulitzer Prizes
- Citation Hurston/Wright Foundation
- The Wall Street Journal Best Books, The Wall Street Journal
- NPR NPR
- The New York Times The New York Times
- Kirkus Reviews Kirkus Reviews
- Hedgebrook Hedgbrook News
- Lannan Lannan Residency