Laila Lalami


Laila Lalami
(ليلى العلمي) was born and raised in Morocco. She attended Université Mohammed-V in Rabat, University College in London, and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post and elsewhere.

She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. She was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2006 and for the National Book Critics’ Circle Nona Balakian Award in 2009. She is the author of the short story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and the novel Secret Son.  Her work has been translated into ten languages.  She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California at Riverside.


Publications: (English)


  • Secret Son, 2009.
  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, 2006.

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.

Official Website:

Laila Lalami

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