OCTOBER 15-18, 2020

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in partnership with the MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION

Conditional Citizens - Laila Lalami - <span class="date-display-single">05/12/2020 - 7:00pm</span>

Conditional Citizens

05/12/2020 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302

** CANCELED ** In accordance with recommendations from Public Health officials, the Wisconsin Book Festival will be canceling events at this time. We will work to reschedule events where possible later in the year. 

 

The acclaimed, award-winning novelist–author of The Moor’s Account and The Other Americans–now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of “conditional citizens.” What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. 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. Throughout the book, she poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other. Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together the author’s own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture.

About Presenter Laila Lalami

 

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of four novels, including The Moor’s Account, which won several awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and The Other Americans, which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington PostThe NationHarper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times. She has received fellowships from the British Council, the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation and is currently a tenured professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

RECENT BOOK:

Conditional Citizens

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