Spring Events

March 23rd, 2015

dew

I’m popping back on the blog for a couple of announcements. The audio book of The Moor’s Account, read by Neil Shah, was released by Audible last month. UK rights to the book have sold to Mitchell Albert at Garnet, with publication scheduled for August 2015, which will coincide with the paperback release of the book with Vintage, here in the U.S. And I am back on the road again! I will be doing two events at the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. Details below:

March 27, 2015
10:30 AM
Deceptive Histories, Truthful Fictions
Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival
The Historic New Orleans Collection
New Orleans, Louisiana

March 28, 2015
11:30 AM
Panel: The Transnationalists – American Writers on Border Crossings
Molly Crabapple, Phil Klay, Laila Lalami, moderated by Pamela Paul
Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival
Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom

Then, in April, I will be doing a panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

April 19, 2015
12:30 PM
Fiction: Untold Stories
Ryan Gattis, Laila Lalami, Atticus Lish, Nina Revoyr, moderated by Michelle Franke
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
University of Southern California

Do come by and say hi!

Photo: Morning dew on a recent hike in Solstice Canyon, Santa Monica.

On Charlie Hebdo

January 20th, 2015

My essay on the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks appears in the February 2nd issue of The Nation magazine. Here is an excerpt:

Two men in balaclavas burst into Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris and opened fire on the editorial staff, killing five cartoonists, a columnist, a maintenance worker, an economist, a visitor, a copy-editor and two police officers.

To make sense of the senseless, we tell ourselves stories. The story is that this is the latest salvo in an ongoing clash of civilizations between Islam and the West. The story is that the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was the last bastion of free thought in a cowed press, a press that has bowed to political correctness and is now too afraid to criticize Islam. The story is that Muslim leaders remain silent about this atrocity. The story is that France has failed to integrate its Muslim citizens, descendants of immigrants from its former colonies. The story is that France has sent troops to fight in Muslim countries. The story is that there are double standards.

None of these stories will do, at least not for me. I find myself reading them in different guises in the national press, hoping they will enlighten or satisfy me, but something is always missing.

You can read the rest of the essay here. Thank you to all who shared it on Facebook and Twitter, emailed me about it, or commented on it.

And Then We Came To the End

December 7th, 2014

I was so happy to return home this morning that when I stepped off the jetway at LAX, I wanted to fall on my knees and kiss the ground. The book tour was great fun, but after seventeen cities I was starting to show signs of wear. There were days when a cab driver would ask me where I had flown from and it would take me a minute to remember where I had been or even where I was going. Now I’m looking forward to spending the next few months at home and getting back to my writing routine.

Before I disappear into my writing cave again, I wanted to mention that The Moor’s Account was included in several year-end lists: the New York Times Notable Books of 2014, NPR’s Best Books of 2014, and the Los Angeles Times Holiday Book Recommendations. Thank you to all who read the novel, reviewed it, and recommended it. I am grateful.

Update! The Moor’s Account is also one of the Wall Street Journal‘s Ten Best Books of the year.

(Illustration credit: Jon McNaught, New York Times)

Last Stop on The Tour

December 1st, 2014

Good news! The Moor’s Account received a great review in the December 1st issue of the New Yorker. It was also selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Fiction Books of 2014. Thank you again to everyone who has read the book, shared news about it, or attended one of my events.

My last stop on the Moor’s Account book tour will be in Austin, where I will take part in the UT Symposium for African Writers. Here are the details for my reading:

December 3, 2014
3:00 PM
Reading and conversation with Maaza Mengiste
University of Texas at Austin
Liberal Arts Building 1.302E

I’m looking forward to talking African literature with my friend Maaza and with the other writers present. If you happen to be in Austin this week, come on by. In the meantime, here is a review I wrote for the New York Times about Nuruddin Farah’s new novel, Hiding in Plain Sight.

November Events

November 9th, 2014

ccny-ll

What a pleasure and an honor it was to be part of the Chinua Achebe Legacy Series at CCNY! Thank you to all who came to my reading. I’m back home now, but already preparing for two other events. I will be in Arizona next week, for a reading at Yavapai College:

November 14, 2014
7:00 PM
Reading and on-stage conversation
Yavapai College
1100 E. Sheldon Street
Prescott, Arizona

The following weekend, I will be in Florida for the Miami Book Fair, doing a reading with Kathryn Harrison and Kristin Downey. Here are the details:

November 23, 2014
2:30 PM
Miami Book Fair
Room 8503
Building 8, 5th Floor
Miami, Florida

For those who may be interested, here is a short interview I did with PEN, and a longer, chattier one I did with Aaron Bady, as part of his ‘African Writers in a New World’ series. The great Michael Schaub also reviewed The Moor’s Account on his Book Report show.

Readings, Interviews, TV

November 3rd, 2014

I feel like I’ve been on an airplane for the last couple of weeks. I went to the Chicago Humanities Festival, where I gave a reading, followed by a conversation with Gina Frangello. (Here is a recap of the event, if you’re interested.) Then I went back home for one day and had to head right back out for the International Festival of Authors in Toronto. I met with my lovely Canadian editor, gave two readings at Harbourfront Centre, and did a panel conversation with Sarah Waters and Valerie Martin for Writers & Company on CBC.

In other news, I will be on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Monday night. (Set your DVR!) Then on Thursday, I will be giving a reading at CCNY, as part of their Chinua Achebe Legacy Series. The reading is free and open to the public. Details are below:

November 6, 2014
12:00 PM
City College of New York
Chinua Achebe Legacy Series
NAC Building, Amsterdam Room
Amsterdam Ave. at 137th Street
Harlem, New York

But one advantage of all this travel is that I’ve been able to some reading! I just finished Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce, On Immunity by Eula Biss, and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

East Coast Tour

October 5th, 2014

williams-moors-account

I just finished packing for my trip to the East Coast. I’ll be reading from and discussing The Moor’s Account in four cities: New York, Washington, DC, Williamstown, and Boston. The details are posted below:

October 6, 2014
8:00 PM

92nd Street Y

1395 Lexington Avenue

New York, New York

October 7, 2014
7:00 PM

Politics and Prose

5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC

October 8, 2014
6:30 PM

Williams College

Williamstown, Massachusetts

October 9, 2014
7:00 PM

Harvard Bookstore

1256 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, Massachusetts

For those who may be interested, here’s an interview I did with The Berkshire Eagle ahead of my reading at Williams. Reviews have continued to appear through last week. I particularly liked hearing Alan Cheuse’s review for NPR’s All Things Considered. Meanwhile, The Moor’s Account was published in Canada last week, so reviews have begun to appear there as well. Here, for instance, is a piece from the The Winnipeg Free Press. Details about my Canada appearances are on my Events page.

New Mexico Readings

September 21st, 2014

LL3

Thank you to all who came to my readings in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. I had a wonderful time talking about The Moor’s Account and enjoyed sharing anecdotes and stories. Now I’m getting ready to read in New Mexico, a state I’ve loved ever since my first visit, in the summer of 2010. First up is Albuquerque:

September 22, 2014
7:00 PM
Reading and Discussion
Bookworks
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico

After that, I will be reading in Santa Fe:

September 23, 2014
6:00 PM
Reading and Discussion
Collected Works Bookstore
202 Galisteo St.
Santa Fe, New Mexico

You can read an interview I did with The Santa Fe New Mexican, ahead of my events in the state. The Moor’s Account was the subject of a wonderful essay by Rubén Martínez in The Los Angeles Review of Books. It also made Ebony‘s list of recommended reads. Do come and say hi.

Photo credit: Powell’s Books.

West Coast Tour

September 15th, 2014

laila-atdiesel

I’m packing today for the West Coast portion of my book tour. If you happen to be in Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco, I would love to see you! In Seattle, I’ll be reading at the public library, a place I love both for its architecture and for the people who work in it. The event is co-sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Co., where the booksellers always have the best recommendations for what to read next. I had a wonderful time in Seattle when my previous novel, Secret Son, was a citywide read there, so I’m really looking forward to being back.

September 16, 2014
7:00 PM
Reading and Discussion
Seattle Public Library in conjunction with Elliott Bay Book Co.
1000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Washington

After that, I’ll be reading at the legendary City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. I’m excited about the prospect of seeing family and friends from the area. Details are below:

September 17, 2014
7:00 PM
Reading and Discussion
City Lights Booksellers and Publishers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, California

My last stop of the week will be at Powell’s Books. All I can say about this bookstore is that I want to set up a tent and live there. It’s that great.

September 18, 2014
7:30 PM
Reading and Discussion
Powell’s Books
1005 W. Burnside Street
Portland, Oregon

If you want to know a little more about the genesis of The Moor’s Account, you can read this piece I wrote for Biographile. I also created a musical playlist for Largehearted Boy’s Booknotes. Several new reviews of the book appeared over the last few days: The Wall Street Journal called the novel “sensitive” and “elegant;” the literary magazine The Millions said it was “magnificent;” and the Seattle Times found it “meticulously researched and inventive.” The New York Times made it an Editors’ Choice this week.


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