Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Gifts for Her  Fine Art Deals Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Classics and Essentials in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Deals on HTL
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $1.17 (8%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Hope and Other Dangerous ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Signs of wear on the outside of book. Inside pages are readable.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits Paperback – October 2, 2006

42 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.71 $2.00

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now
$12.78 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
  • +
  • A Small Place
Total price: $24.24
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews Review

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Laila Lalami's poetic debut, begins with the illegal journey of four Moroccans across the Strait of Gibraltar. Moments away from the shores of Spain, the boat capsizes and the passengers are forced to swim for their lives, and their freedom. What follows is an exploration of the pasts that led to this passage, and the futures that emerge from this voyage.

Less a novel than a series of biographical sketches, the book seems at times like a tease; Lalami does such a beautiful job creating her characters that readers will undoubtedly be left wanting more. Still, each portrait gives us a chance to not only engage with the character, but to gain an understanding of the religious, socio-economic, and emotional circumstances that compel each person to leave Morocco. Faten, a student who dons the hijab, is forced to flee when her religious beliefs start threatening the lives of influential educators. Murad, a serious, educated young man chances the crossing in search of a better life, where he doesn't have to hustle tourists to make a living. In each scene, Lalami bring Moroccan culture to life, from the tree-lined suburbs of Rabat to the Douar Lhajja slum, "where couscous pots were used as satellite dishes."

With Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Lalami creates a world that is both modern and traditional, hopeful and desperate, mournful and joyous. Readers can look forward to much more from this talented new voice. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The four main characters of this linked series of fictional profiles are connected by a single goal: the desire to emigrate from Morocco to Spain, where there are jobs. Lalami, author of the literary blog, opens her book with the four (along with several others) illegally crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in a tiny inflatable raft; when it capsizes near shore, it is everyone for themselves. The next four chapters flash back to their varying lives in Morocco: Faten, a lower-class, college-aged woman appears only through the eyes of middle-class friend Noura's parents, who are horror-stricken as Noura falls under Faten's influence and begins wearing the hijab; Halima, a financially struggling mother who, with her children, is escaping an abusive marriage; Aziz Ammor, who hopes to support his wife by finding work in Spain; and Murad, a college graduate who makes pocket money by taking Paul Bowles fans on informal tours. The four following chapters detail, with sensitivity and journalistic clarity, their lives after the trip across the Strait. Less a novel than a set of finely detailed portraits, this book gives outsiders a glimpse of some of Moroccan society's strata and the desperation that underlies many ordinary lives.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Reprint edition (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015603087X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156030878
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laila Lalami is the author of the novels "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits," which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; "Secret Son," which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and "The Moor's Account," which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was on the Man Booker Prize longlist. The Moor's Account was also a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in many anthologies. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The immigrant story is a fundamental theme in literature, and all too often, individual attempts to explore it are suffocated by the weight of all the examples one has to compare it to. Here, Lalami offers a refreshing (and much needed) perspective on the topic in her short debut, showing a cross-section of Moroccans seeking a better life in the Western world. Its opening section, "The Trip", throws us into the midst of a motorboat of huddled people who've paid an unscrupulous human trafficker to take them across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Spanish coast. The trip ends badly and Lalami then flashes back in time to four vignettes grouped in a section called "Before."

Here we learn about the lives of four of the boat's passengers and discover why they embark on the dangerous, desperate attempt to sneak into Spain. Like illegal immigrants around the world they know the odds are well-stacked against them, and yet hope to become one of success stories whose good fortune is recounted back home, ensuring a fresh wave of fortune-seekers. Newly married Aziz hopes to work hard and send money back home for a few years, building a nest egg on which to start some kind of small business. Murad is an educated English-speaking book lover, reduced to trying to be a freelance guide for Westerners on the trail of Paul Bowles. Halima is a mother of three, living in slums and married to an abusive drunk, she just can't take it any more. Faten is a devout teenage girl who gets into trouble at school and has no prospects.

The third section of the book is "After", and this is where we learn what has become of the characters following their ill-fated attempt. For those who eventually make it, the dream is not all they had hoped for.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Susan Henderson on September 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you're a writer and you've tried to sell a book, maybe you've heard this: Story collections don't sell. Make it a novel. Make it 250 pages, maybe 300. Put the story in chronological order. Bring it to closure.

Imagine a publisher willing to break these rules and allow the writer to publish their work as it evolved naturally?

[...] (Algonquin, October 2005) is 195 glorious pages of inter-linked stories told in her third language.

The beauty and brilliance of this collection is in its unique shape. It begins with The Trip, and a raft full of Moroccans fleeing their home land for Spain. The strangers have saved and borrowed for the illegal ride and, when the shoreline is in sight, are abruptly thrown from the boat (the boat's driver doesn't want to get caught). Not all are swimmers, and they know all the commotion in the water will bring the Spanish Customs officials. It's chaos, and I'm pulled in, wondering, Who would risk such a thing?

The stories are then organized into two sections: Before and After. In the first set, we follow four individuals before they left Morocco to discover their very personal reasons for fleeing their current lives. There is teenage Faten Khatibi, who her wealthy friend's parents consider a fanatic because she's convinced their daughter Noura to wear the hijab and quote from the Qu'ran. Halima Bouhamsa, living in the slums, hopes for a divorce from her abusive husband that won't result in losing custody of her children. Aziz Ammor, unemployed, has decided to leave his wife and family so that he might send them money and ease their lives. And Murad Idrissi, envying the tourists he hustles for "the nonchalance in [their] demeanor, free from the burden of survival" (p.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Olivas on September 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
So many of us know Laila Lalami through her blog,, which reflects her Moroccan roots by often covering-and confronting-literary news relating to the "other" in our society. Specifically, Lalami has accorded non-Christian and non-white writers the kind of respect and analysis not usually offered in the "mainstream" press or even most blogs, for that matter. If this were Lalami's sole contribution to the literary world, she would have much of which to be proud. But now she brings us her first book, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), a collection of interlocking stories, which also reflects her connections to Morocco. The structure of Lalami's collection is as elegant as it is powerful. The title story, "The Trip," serves as a prologue where she introduces us to the four main characters who will reappear in the eight subsequent stories. It is dark and cold as four Moroccans huddle with twenty-six others in small boat-a six-meter Zodiac inflatable meant to accommodate eight people-to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. Their hope: to avoid the watchful eye of the authorities as they travel fourteen kilometers to their haven, Spain. Lalami captures with clear and revealing language the brutality of the smugglers and the desperation of their human cargo. The collection is then divided into two parts. In the first, entitled Before, we see what drove Lalami's characters to risk their lives to escape Morocco. In these stories, we see the how desperate circumstances must get before one decides to leave home, perhaps forever. In the second part of the collection (entitled After), we see how the lives of our four protagonists change after their desperate voyage across the Strait of Gibraltar. These stories will surprise the reader.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
This item: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
Price: $12.78
Ships from and sold by