Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. She is the author of the short-story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and the novel Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize long list. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and in many anthologies. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.