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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Secret Son

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Secret Son Cover

ISBN13: 9781565129795
ISBN10: 1565129792
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Youssef el-Mekki, a young man of nineteen, is living with his mother in the slums of Casablanca when he discovers that the father he believed to be dead is, in fact, alive and eager to befriend and support him. Leaving his mother behind, Youssef assumes a life he could only dream of: a famous and influential father, his own penthouse apartment, and all the luxuries associated with his new status. His future appears assured until an abrupt reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends, where a fringe Islamic group, known simply as the Party, has set up its headquarters.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami's powerful first novel explores the struggle for identity, the need for family, and the desperation that overtakes ordinary lives in a country divided by class, politics, and religion.

Review:

"Secret Son gives us...a nuanced depiction of the roots of Islamic terrorism, written by someone who intimately knows one of the stratified societies where it grows." New York Times

Review:

"A brilliant story of alienation and desperation that easily transports readers to hot, dusty Casablanca; highly recommended." Library Journal

Synopsis:

In the spirit of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lalami's powerful first novel explores the struggle for identity, the need for family, and the desperation that overtakes ordinary lives in a country divided by class, politics, and religion.

Synopsis:

Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father — whom he'd been led to believe was dead — is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami's debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

About the Author

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat, Morocco, and educated in Morocco, Britain, and the United States. Her work has appeared in the Independent, the Los Angeles Times, the Oregonian, the Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor in the creative writing department at the University of California, Riverside.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

mam958, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by mam958)
Interesting to read a book set in a country that we know so little about. The well crafted story clips along and comes together in the only way that it really can.
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tansaoui, July 30, 2010 (view all comments by tansaoui)
Laila Lalami is a pioneer among her Moroccan contemporaries in that she writes in English rather than in Arabic or French, and is the first Moroccan woman writer of literature to portray Morocco after May 16th terrorist attack in Casablanca in 2003.”.

“Secret Son” is a worth reading novel. It tells the story of a young Moroccan teenager, called Youssef and his struggle to find an identity in the Modern Morocco during the beginning of the 21st century. The author portrays Youssef’s life as an illegitimate son of Rachida through a series of flashbacks and monologues. The novel describes people, traditions, and culture in Morocco. Male–female relationships are thoroughly discussed in the narrative.

By exposing the readers to Youssef’s struggle to find a place among an aristocratic; too liberal family; that of his father who finally admitted that he had sexual relationship with Rachida and got pregnant with youssef. Laila uncovers the changes in male-female roles in Morocco. Girls and boys adolescent relationships, struggles between political parties and the flourishing of terrorists who take the Islamic religion as the troy horse to realize their blind dreams and want to push the country backward. Many aspects of Moroccan society are also explored through Youssef’s life. The workplace and corruption, the struggle for an identity, the difference between Moroccan and Western values, and the competition between colonial and native languages are all combined in this novel.

The dramatic ending of the novel; the fall of the Amranis, the return of their daughter Laila to her husband in the states, the imprisonment of Youssef, the assassination of the journalist and the extinction of terrorism; is very suggestive in the sense that we live in a country where everything is torn apart. Much is needed to be done despite the freedom and the free will we have undergone after the years of lead.

For me Secret Son has both pedagogical and artistic merits. I recommend that it should be translated into all living languages.

Regards from Morocco

Lekbir Tansaoui, a Moroccan teacher of English.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565129795
Author:
Lalami, Laila
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100309
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.14x5.62x.86 in. .68 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Secret Son Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565129795 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Secret Son gives us...a nuanced depiction of the roots of Islamic terrorism, written by someone who intimately knows one of the stratified societies where it grows."
"Review" by , "A brilliant story of alienation and desperation that easily transports readers to hot, dusty Casablanca; highly recommended."
"Synopsis" by , In the spirit of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lalami's powerful first novel explores the struggle for identity, the need for family, and the desperation that overtakes ordinary lives in a country divided by class, politics, and religion.
"Synopsis" by , Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father — whom he'd been led to believe was dead — is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami's debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

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