Bio from wikipedia
Laila Lalami (Arabic: ليلى العلمي, born 1968) is a Moroccan-American novelist, essayist, and professor. After earning her Licence ès Lettres degree in Morocco, she received a fellowship to study in the United Kingdom (UK), where she earned an MA in linguistics.
In 1992 Lalami moved to the United States, where she completed a PhD in linguistics at the University of Southern California. She began publishing her writing in 1996. Her first novel, composed of linked stories, was published in 2005. In 2015 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for her 2014 novel The Moor’s Account, which received strong critical praise and won several other awards.