“A dream of a debut, by turns troubling adn glorious, angry and wise.” —Junot Diaz Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. As four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain, author Laila Lalami asks, What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.
**Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize** **Nominated for the 2016 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award** A Pulitzer Prize Finalist A New York Times Notable Book A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Book of the Year An NPR Great Read of 2014 A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the Year In this stunning work of historical fiction, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America—a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record. In 1527, the conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez sailed from the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda with a crew of six hundred men and nearly a hundred horses. His goal was to claim what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States for the Spanish crown and, in the process, become as wealthy and famous as Hernán Cortés. But from the moment the Narváez expedition landed in Florida, it faced peril—navigational errors, disease, starvation, as well as resistance from indigenous tribes. Within a year there were only four survivors: the expedition’s treasurer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; a Spanish nobleman named Alonso del Castillo Maldonado; a young explorer named Andrés Dorantes de Carranza; and Dorantes’s Moroccan slave, Mustafa al-Zamori, whom the three Spaniards called Estebanico. These four survivors would go on to make a journey across America that would transform them from proud conquis-tadores to humble servants, from fearful outcasts to faith healers. The Moor’s Account brilliantly captures Estebanico’s voice and vision, giving us an alternate narrative for this famed expedition. As the dramatic chronicle unfolds, we come to understand that, contrary to popular belief, black men played a significant part in New World exploration and Native American men and women were not merely silent witnesses to it. In Laila Lalami’s deft hands, Estebanico’s memoir illuminates the ways in which stories can transmigrate into history, even as storytelling can offer a chance for redemption and survival. From the Hardcover edition.
When a young man is given the chance to rewrite his future, he doesn't realize the price he will pay for giving up his past... Casablanca's stinking alleys are the only home that nineteen-year-old Youssef El-Mekki has ever known. Raised by his mother in a one-room home, the film stars flickering on the local cinema's screen offer the only glimmer of hope to his frustrated dreams of escape. Until, that is, the father he thought dead turns out to be very much alive. A high profile businessman with wealth to burn, Nabil is disenchanted with his daughter and eager to take in the boy he never knew. Soon Youssef is installed in his penthouse and sampling the gold-plated luxuries enjoyed by Casablanca's elite. But as he leaves the slums of his childhood behind him, he comes up against a starkly un-glittering reality...
The Politics of Anglo Arab and Arab American Literature and Culture
Author: Nouri Gana
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
The novel is a largely imported European genre, coming relatively late to the history of Arab letters. It should therefore perhaps come as no surprise that the first novel to have been written by an Arab was written in English (Ameen Rihani's The Book of Khalid, 1911). However, subsequent years saw the flourishing of, first, Arabic novels, then the Francophone Arab novel. Only in the last two decades has the Anglophone Arab novel experienced a second coming, and it is this re-emergence of literary activity that is the focus of this collection. Opening up the field of diasporic Anglo Arab literature to critical debate, the Companion presents a range of critical responses and pedagogical approaches to the Anglo Arab novel. It offers both classroom-friendly essays and critically sophisticated analyses, bringing together original critical studies of the major Anglo Arab novelists from established and emerging scholars in the field.
Opening up the field of diasporic Anglo-Arab literature to critical debate, this companion spans from the first Arab novel in 1911 to the resurgence of the Anglo-Arabic novel in the last 20 years. There are chapters on authors such as Ameen Rihani, Ahdaf
Providing a gateway into the real literature emerging from the Middle East, this book shows teachers how to make the topic authentic, powerful, and relevant. Teaching the Literature of Today’s Middle East: • Introduces teachers to this literature and how to teach it • Brings to the reader a tremendous diversity of teachable texts and materials by Middle Eastern writers • Takes a thematic approach that allows students to understand and engage with the region and address key issues • Includes stories from the author’s own classroom, and shares student insight and reactions • Utilizes contemporary teaching methods, including cultural studies, literary circles, blogs, YouTube, class speakers, and film analysis • Directly and powerfully models how to address controversial issues in the region Written in an open, personal, and engaging style, theoretically informed and academically smart, highly relevant across the field of literacy education, this text offers teachers and teacher-educators a much needed resource for helping students to think deeply and critically about the politics and culture of the Middle East through literary engagements.
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor’s Account, here is a timely and powerful novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant—at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant living in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she'd left for good; his widow, Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora's and an Iraq War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son's secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself. As the characters—deeply divided by race, religion, and class—tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as Driss’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love, messy and unpredictable, is born.
Using cultural production from post-Cold War cultural producers from Argentina, the United States, Europe (Spain) and Morocco, my project analyzes the role and representation of different mobilities in the construction of subjectivity, citizenship and processes of identity formation as they relate to questions of agency, freedom and control. The meanings given to mobility through these cultural texts are differentiated by new emerging conceptions and enactments of citizenship that result from the eroding of the traditional powers of the nation-state power to monitor citizenship and to exercise authority over the forms of cultural belonging. I claim that the connection between citizenship and identity is marked by "turbulence" this term being understood as a metaphor for the broader levels of interconnection and interdependency between the various forces that are in play in the modern world. I understand citizenship as a concept being contested by unstable conceptions of identity that are being simultaneously affected by the consolidating, centripetal forces of the national, and the re-organizing, centrifugal forces of the global. My reading of cultural production will analyze how the forces of globalization and mobility affect the subjectivity of the characters and their imaginations as citizens of a weakening nation-state, opening up new and non-territorial frames of reference. I argue that even though characters may imagine their citizenship in terms of the particularities of their identity, such as country of origin, group membership, etc, the nation-state still remains a strong referent for them to construct their identity. In spite of the evolution of concepts of American and European culture and identity from stability to change, from the known to the culturally unsettled, from fixity to movement, I agree with Ulf Hedetoft and Mette Hjort when they claim that belonging and citizenship require in part a territorial and historical fixity and the existence of a superstructure with which one can identify. I depart from the premise that globalization itself is not a substitute for home and belonging because one does not belong to the globe even though one may support global issues.1 There is in my view no such thing as a postnational self and I base my reading of representations of mobility and subjectivity on literary and cultural texts on such a premise.