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“If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” 2008

2008—If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…
Click here to find out the benefits to becoming a sponsor for this year’s If All of Rochester Read the Same Book.

laila2222Writers & Books’ “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” initiative connects people to the experience of literature and to others throughout our community, through reading and discussion.

Writers & Books is proud to announce that the novel Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami has been selected for the 2008“If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” community-wide reading program.

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is about four Moroccans who cross thelalami Straits of Gibraltar on a lifeboat in order to immigrate to Spain. Why are they risking their lives? And are the rewards worth it? The answers unfold in a series of linked narratives, dealing with key events in each character’s past and how their lives are changed forever—for better or for worse—by their decision.






Comments about and reviews of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

“Laila writes in a style both pragmatic and poetic; with romance and the human condition coiled together. An excellent book.”

Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

Lalami writes about her home country without the expatriate’s self-indulgent and often condescending nostalgia. She brings a calm sympathy to all her characters… her evenhandedness offers us no scope for easy judgments.”

The New York Review of Books

“Laila Lalami’s novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, feels as if literature has spoken directly to me for the first time in my life.”

Tingis Magazine

“In a book that feels as contemporary as a newspaper headline, that seems to explain so much… Lalami paints a vivid picture of modern-day Morocco as a place of dashed dreams and political repression.”

The Boston Globe

“With grace and authority, Lalami evokes the unease of men and women adrift, caught between the stagnation of their homeland and the hope of a better life on another shore. … These are quiet yet tough-minded stories: Around their gentle core, the desperation of the characters and the gritty edges of their world resonate forcefully. Often it is in the silences between words that the tensions fester and loss is felt, as much as in the words themselves.”

The Nation

“An impressive debut…. This young author, who writes beautifully, charts a different course, ending her volume with cautious optimism. With this debut, Lalami becomes an artist to watch.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer