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Secret Son

Secret Son

by Laila Lalami


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Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami’s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565129795
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 997,619
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2006. She lives in Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A tale of contemporary Morocco, straddling the personal and the political, told simply, beautifully, with heart and panache." — Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan

Laila Lalami’s exploration of her subjects and characters is poignant, complex, deeply reflective and compassionate; and her prose is robust and elegant. A wonderful book. –Chris Abani, author of The Virgin of Flames and Song for Night

"Laila Lalami's tale of a young Moroccan man who must navigate between a bleak background and a bright possibility is magnificently told and wrenched my heart."— Joe Sacco, author of Palestine

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