Laila Lalami

Tuesday, October 6 at 7PM

Hosted by Hennepin County Library

Moroccan American novelist Laila Lalami uses fiction as a vehicle to showcase “overlooked” North African stories and experiences. Notable examples include her 2014 breakout The Moor’s Account, which reconstructs the journeys of the New World’s first explorer of color. It won the American Book Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Lalami’s follow-up, The Other Americans, centers around the mysterious death of a Moroccan immigrant in California. Equal parts family drama, murder mystery, and love story, The Other Americans was singled out by media as varied as the BBC and BuzzFeed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2019. Lalami’s new release, Conditional Citizens, is something of a departure. In this deeply personal exposé, the author uses her own unlikely immigration story as an entrée for explore the hot-button question: What does it mean to be American? One reviewer noted: “Probing, unflinching and fiercely intelligent, Conditional Citizens is a must-read for all of those who have stared, stunned, at the shifting terrain of our political landscape and wondered how we got here.”

This event is moderated by Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria. Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is a writer, spoken-word poet, heavily involved with Palabristas, a Minnesota-based Latin poets collective. He received his MFA in poetry from Hamline University and is the author of “Fighting the Oppressive Whiteness,” Sanchez-Chavarria’s essay in the popular 2016 collection A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, focuses on his childhood experience as an emigrant from Peru.

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