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The Writer in the World

Laila Lalami, Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Thursday, April 1, 2010
01:19:43
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Episode Summary
Two celebrated authors-one from Kenya, the other from Morocco-examine how writers take on the challenges posed by political and cultural conflict in our modern world.

Participant(s) Bio
Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. She studied Linguistics at Université Mohammed-V in Rabat, University College London, and the University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. She was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing (the "African Booker") in 2006 and for the National Book Critics' Circle Nona Balakian Award in 2009. Her debut collection of short stories, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, was published in the fall of 2005 and has since been translated into into six languages. Her first novel, Secret Son, was published in the spring of 2009. She is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine, was born in Kenya, in 1938 into a large peasant family. He was educated at Kamandura, Manguu and Kinyogori primary schools; Alliance High School, all in Kenya; Makerere University College (then a campus of London University), Kampala, Uganda; and the University of Leeds, Britain. He is recipient of seven Honorary Doctorates viz D Litt (Albright); PhD (Roskilde); D Litt (Leeds); D Litt &Ph D (Walter Sisulu University); PhD (Carlstate); D Litt (Dillard) and D Litt (Auckland University). He is also Honorary Member of American Academy of Letters. A many-sided intellectual, he is novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist.


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