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Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits Paperback – October 2, 2006
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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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gripping, like all her books. With the recent flow of refugees going over the Mediterranean to reach Europe, this story is about people trying to reach Spain. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Coen
This book of thoughtful light reading, is of connected short stories about an unknown-to-each-other group of emigrants from northern Morocco, who all end up in the same small boat... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Imperial Topaz
Stories of difficulties faced by young and ambitious people, born on the wrong side of the fence. Very delicate yet descriptive writing. Read morePublished 19 months ago by M. Balaa
Interesting tale of interwoven stories built around intriguing characters, fully drawn, relevant to post-modern sensibilities.Published 23 months ago by Hamilton Donald
hmmm, the description sounded great and exactly the type of book I like. Somehow it just doesnt engage, I don't find myself caring about the characters even though the type of... Read morePublished on July 8, 2014 by Amazon Customer
If you stand along the port area in Tangier you can look out across the Mediterranean and see Spain. It is a mere fourteen kilometres away, half an hour on the ferry. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Fiona Leonard
Author writes in an authentic voice about various issues that drive Moroccans and others to seek escape from North Africa and the poverty/problems inherent in their lives. Read morePublished on April 13, 2013 by Linda McHale Smith
“FOURTEEN KILOMETERS. Murad has pondered that number hundreds of times in the last year, trying to decide whether the risk was worth it. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Suzanne Dobbins