Talking with Authors

Laila Lalami: "Conditional Citizens"

January 28, 2021 HEC Media Season 1 Episode 50
Talking with Authors
Laila Lalami: "Conditional Citizens"
Show Notes

This is the fiftieth episode of "Talking with Authors" by HEC Media and HEC Books. We're a program dedicated to speaking with some of the best selling authors around, covering many different genres.

Today, our guest is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and best selling author, Laila Lalami. We spoke with her via Zoom in October of 2020 about her newest book “Conditional Citizens” by publisher Pantheon Books.

Laila Lalami is a naturalized US citizen of Arab descent born in Morocco. The professor of linguistics’ pathway to citizenship lasted from 1992 to 2000 and she experienced a wide range of contradictions along the way. She notes in “Conditional Citizens” that she realized while she had to declare herself as ethnically “white” on official paperwork…she didn’t see Arabs existing the same way as other “white” people in the real world.

In her memoir that consists of her essays she’s written over the years, she breaks down how “accidents of birth” such as national origin, race, or gender play a large role in shaping the experience of what it means to be “American” to this day. We’ll learn more about this book, other best sellers, and the life of professor and writer Laila Lalami on this edition of Talking With Authors from HEC Media and HEC Books.

Our interviewer this time is Anna Crosslin.

HEC Media is a production company out of St. Louis, Missouri.  With the help of independent bookstore Left Bank Books and St. Louis County Library, we are able to sit down with these amazing writers and thought leaders to discuss their work, their inspiration, and what makes them special. You can watch video versions of most of our interviews at

Interviewer for this episode - Anna Crosslin
Video Editor - Peter Foggy
Supervising Producer - Julie Winkle
Production Support - Jayne Ballew & Christina Chastain
HEC Media Executive Director - Dennis Riggs
Talking with Authors Podcast Executive Producer - Christina Chastain
Podcast Audio Editing - Ben Smith
Podcast Producer - Rod Milam
Podcast Host - Rod Milam

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