Laila Lalami Author Talk “Conditional Citizens: On Belonging In America”
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Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami—author of the acclaimed novels The Moor’s Account and The Other Americans—opens up with a deeply personal and powerfully researched book about the experience of “conditional citizens” living in the United States.
What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and passionate detail, Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Through a tour of history, politics, culture and literature, in a book that Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a gift to all Americans,” Lalami clarifies a vision of the United States where accidents of birth are codified in a hierarchy that disenfranchises and limits some based on skin color and origin. Conditional citizens, Lalami argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other.
Online with Kepler’s on October 14 for the paperback release of Conditional Citizens, one of our most compelling literary voices takes a hard look at a broken social fabric which limits the welcoming promise of our famously multicultural nation. In a period of continued international turmoil around borders, a very real refugee crisis and embattled citizenship, be prepared to join the conversation: don’t miss Laila Lalami.