Virtual Event: Laila Lalami

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In conversation with Jim Falk, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Recording available through November 4

What does it mean to be American? In her latest book, Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America, Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to US citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, or gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Drawing on her personal history as “an immigrant, a woman, an Arab, and a Muslim,” Lalami describes how becoming a US citizen does not necessarily mean becoming “an equal member of the American family.” Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other. Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, calls Conditional Citizens “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, and what we can do.”

Lalami is the author of four novels, including The Moor’s Account, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and The Other Americans, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Guardian, and New York Times. Born in Morocco, Lalami currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California at Riverside.


One book + virtual ticket (includes a hardcover copy of Conditional Citizens and a signed bookplate shipped directly to your home): $35 

Public/DMA and WAC Member/Educator virtual ticket: $10 

Student virtual ticket: $5