But the person they paid to take them to shore, stops short of the shore and drops them off, when some of the passengers cannot swim. The novel is the interwoven stories of four of the survivors, some who made it to Spain and some who did not.
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. All too rarely are the human stories behind these perilous journeys told.
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. Their societies might be inadequate, but then so, too, are they. They dither, they hesitate, they take obviously false paths. So they are all too human. The four meet in the initial story, "The Trip", which is, of course, the perilous journey in a flimsy, overloaded inflatable boat from Morocco to Spain.
There's also a sullen Islamist woman, Faten; Halima, the beaten victim of a drunken husband with her three children; and, Aziz, the academic failure wiith a mechanic's training vital as it turns out making his second attempt at the journey.
Their stories are told from a variety of perspectives. So we learn initially about Faten only through the eyes of the bureaucrat father of her "best friend", Larbi, who is horrified by her effect on his previously Westernised daughter. The stories unfold casually, tangentially, with sometimes rather awkward exposition: The day after Maati beat her with an extension cord, Halima Bouhamsa packed up some clothes and took the bus to her mother's house in Sisi Beliout, near the old medina in Casablanca.
The cord had left bubbly welts on her arms and face, and she couldn't hide them under her housedress. She arrived at the door of the studio apartment, a packet of La Menara tea in her hand as an offering, and stood for a moment, hesitant.
Her mother wouldn't be happy to see her, but she couldn't think of anywhere else to go. Laila Lalami has an eye for detail, for taste and smell and colour, but the form just doesn't feel quite right, quite big enough, for the subject matter.
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 . 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). Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits profiles the lives of four very different individuals, all bound for Spain as illegal immigrants. Under the cover of night, Lalami’s characters cross the Strait of Gibraltar together in an inflatable raft after more traditional means of emigrating to Spain from Morocco have proven unsuccessful.
The tricksy approaches and tangential angles are more writing school exercise than the sweeping treatment the subject demands. This is a great subject, and these are interesting footnotes in it, but together they don't quite make a whole text.
I was left thinking that while I'd enjoyed reading Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, and developed affection and sympathy for its characters, it was a very light treatment of a very big subject, a subject that needs some great, detailed, sweeping text, something like Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy.
This short read is the author's first book; I hope for the next she'll try to work on a grander scale. The author of Hope blogs at Moorish Girl.
In her public life she's the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.Jan 01, · Laila Lalami's debut Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is an exquisitely written linked collection.
I know Laila from her blog. So I know this is her first book and I know the steps she has taken to get here, but even so, as I read this book, it was difficult to believe that it was a debut/5. 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.
Lalami does not tell us which ones made it to the promised land. Instead, the second part of the novel moves backward, tracing the characters lives back before they make the decision to leave. Each chapter serves as a short story weaving a tale about one character. For the characters in Laila Lalami’s elegant novel Hope and other dangerous pursuits hopes and dreams have another more fundamental element – geography.
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.
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.