Praise and Reviews

“Laila Lalami has written with such sharp clarity and illuminating insight that reading this book was like encountering America for the first time. Probing, unflinching and fiercely intelligent, Conditional Citizens is 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.”
—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King

“This is an urgent, compelling, and persuasive book, written by one of our most important critics of the American character. Laila Lalami has given us a clear-eyed, even-handed assessment of this country’s potential—and its limits—through her insightful notion of conditional citizenship. Her book is a gift to all Americans—if they are willing to receive it.”
—Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and Nothing Ever Dies

“With great moral passion and intellectual verve, Laila Lalami explores the questions the political volcanos of our times have thrown at us: where do we belong, how contingent is our place in the world, and how are citizens made and unmade? Whether narrating her own journey or invoking history and literature, she equips us with bracingly fresh resources to confront our terrible new age of mass deportations, border walls, and brutally enforced statelessness.”
—Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger

Conditional Citizens is a blitz on the way the nation injures and titillates its most vulnerable. In so many ways, Laila Lalami has created a fleshy yet rigorous treatise on the ways this national obsession with suffering necessitates different ways to be and remember, but most importantly different assemblages of language to address and subvert all the poisonous splinters of white nationalism in this country. It is absolutely remarkable, and so so ready for this battle.”
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

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