University of California, Riverside


Laila Lalami Laila Lalami Professor of Creative Writing

Topics: World Literature
North Africa and Middle East

Preferred Media: Print, Radio, Video

Languages Spoken: French, Arabic

Contact Card

Tel: (951) 827-5424

Media Contact: Tess Eyrich
Tel: (951) 827-1287


Laila Lalami was born in Rabat, and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist; and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her essays, reviews, and opinion pieces have appeared in Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She is currently a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times Book Review and a columnist for The Nation magazine.


On World Literature

Laila Lalami, professor of creative writing and award-winning author, addresses storytelling and explains that the best stories are those that hold some kind of truth and offer a new way of looking at the world.

Professor Lalami is particularly interested in literature from Africa,  the Middle East, and their diasporas.

On Morocco

Lalami is available to discuss literature, culture, politics, political stagnation and democratic change in Morocco.

On North Africa and Middle East

Lalami is available to discuss developments in North Africa and the Middle East, including the struggle for freedom, which is universal.

On Islam

Lalami is available to discuss perceptions and realities of Muslim life, the rise of extremism, and the changing roles of women in Islam.