Sixteen faceted essays thematically connected, asking the question—who belongs? Who is an American citizen? Who is "not quite"? The question is personal and political and Lalami explores the many circumstances that render this belonging conditional status. An elegantly written, poignant meditation on the effects of exclusion and suspicion and what embracing citizenship might mean.
Named a Best Book of the Year by Time, NPR, Bookpage and the L.A. Times.
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
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, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today.
Lalami poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained that keeps the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people with whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.
Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together Lalami’s own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
four novels, including The Moor's Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent work, The Other Americans, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper's, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.
Table of ContentsAllegiance 3
Do Not Despair of This Country 160
Source Notes 169