Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami A collection of short stories doesn't quite get to grips with the great subject of the modern migration out of Africa.
Orhan Pamuk and the Museum of Innocence Hopes and dreams are the stuff of calculations, and conditional clauses; if I do x, then hopefully y will come my way. All the calculations and aspirations of the characters rest on one condition first, achieving distance from their native Morocco even the wealthy Larbi Amrani thinks in terms of his daughter studying in New York.
Born and raised in Rabat in Morocco, Lalami began the novel whilst working as a linguist in Los Angeles. The impetus came from reading a report relegated to the back pages of Le Monde about fifteen Moroccan immigrants who had drowned while trying to navigate the ten mile stretch that separates Morocco from Spain, or Europe from Africa.
Just one of numerous articles that appear in the pages of Spanish, French, and Italian newspapers with tragic regularity. She offers no false optimism. The title of the book, like much of the prose of the book, is muscular, to the point, and yet poetic at the same time.
It puts hope firmly on the agenda for discussion, while also implicitly ruling it out. What made you choose the title? I wanted a title that would contain both the positive and negative aspects of the immigration experience. Although they come from different cities in Morocco and although they are leaving the country for different reasons, my characters all share a deep hope of a better tomorrow.
What intrigued me was the idea that they were risking their very lives for the sake of a better life. A very dangerous gamble. So I wanted a title that had both hope and danger in it, which is how it came about.
You approach her almost shyly, recounting her life, before crossing the sea into Spain, mainly through the prism of Larbi Amrani, whilst the other 3 characters are presented directly. What made you choose this approach, which works brilliantly but has the ever-present risk of upsetting the symmetry of the novel?
The character of Faten was probably the hardest to write.
The issue of religious fundamentalism is constantly present in the news media and therefore readers have particular expectations of these kinds of stories. And it was also difficult because I am not particularly observant myself, so I had to really explore all that in her character.
Milan Kundera, in his latest book of essays The Curtainwrote of the novel as a literary form: In a multi-media age is there really anything that only the novel can say? The novel is the only art form that enables a person to create a set of individual mental images and unique interpretations of a story.
Can we talk a bit about that missing something? Speaking at google, you talked about your background and how you came to write in English, and the distance it affords you as a writer.
How important is distance for a novelist? I try to write as if I were still living in Morocco in fact, I did live in Morocco all of last year, but you see what I mean. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is set firmly in Morocco and Spainbut its themes translate worldwide, wherever the boundary between poverty and wealth is physically slight but realistically almost impassable.
How important was it for you to ground the story with specific details that the Moroccan setting affords? For example, did you ever consider locating the story in a nameless context between north and south?
I wanted to be as specific as possible, to write about specific characters, facing specific challenges. If the themes translate to a universal dimension, then I think it is precisely because of specificity.
Is it a mistake for a novelist to stray from narrative into direct political commentary? I admire and appreciate the fact that he tries to write about the world around him; I just happen to disagree very strongly with his views.
I have been writing all of my life, and have blogged for the last seven years. I blog because I like to have a space in which to record my thoughts and opinions about literature or culture or world events.
It has been a mostly wonderful experience. There is, it seems to me, a very pronounced split in Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits along gender lines. All the characters have their individual struggles, but the two women Faten and Halima face undoubtedly harsher challenges and face them with more resolve.
While both Aziz and Murad spend time drinking coffee and pondering their fate, both Faten and Halima face their futures head on. Would it be fair to consider the book a feminist novel?That's what Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, a collection of linked short stories, of "befores" and "afters", does.
Its central characters are not, however, journeying heroines and heroes, but rather dissatisfied, restless beings. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits marks the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction.
Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco/5(7). Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is a novel by Moroccan American author Laila Lalami. First published in the United States, it offers a wider view of the immigration phenomenon from North Africa to .
On Monday night, I had the pleasure of attending a reading of Laila Lalami's first novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. I bought a copy at the reading, opened it in the subway on the way home, and finished it at two in the morning on a work night.
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is a work of fiction written by Moroccan native Laila Lalami and published in The narrative is comprised of nine stories involving the lives of four major characters, all of whom attempt to emigrate illegally from Morocco to Spain in order to have better lives.
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is the debut short story collection by Laila Lalami. Born in Rabat, Morocco, she is the creator of the literary blog timberdesignmag.com, and she opens this series of linked stories with an illegal nighttime voyage.