Laila Lalami: Biography

Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami is a renowned American novelist and essayist who have bagged several awards for her works. Born in 1968 in Morocco, Laila did her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Southern California. After completing her graduation in U.S, Laila returned to Morocco and worked there as a journalist and commentator for quite some time.

Due to her interest in writing, Laila started publishing her works in 1996. Her essays were published in many magazines like Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, New-York Times and in several other anthologies. Her first novel, ‘Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits’ which was a collection of stories was published in the year 2005.

The novel, ‘Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits’ was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and was translated into six languages. Few of other works of Laila has also received many awards. Her work, ‘Secret Son’ was on the Orange Prize longlist and ‘The Moor’s Account’ won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. The book was also on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Laila has also received many fellowships including British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Laila has the credit of being selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in the year 2009.

Besides being a great novelist Laila is currently working as a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.