The author, most recently, of the novel “The Other Americans” first read Zora Neale Hurston five years ago: “I was knocked out by her eye for detail.”
What books are on your nightstand?
“Milkman,” by Anna Burns, an intelligent and thoroughly engrossing novel about a girl who’s forced into a relationship with a powerful man. It’s told in a stream-of-consciousness style that’s both rich and darkly funny. Next to it is a pile of nonfiction that includes “Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights,” by Tananarive Due and Patricia Stephens Due; “Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America,” by Martha S. Jones; “Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America,” by Richard Slotkin; and “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” by Richard Hofstadter. I became a United States citizen nearly 20 years ago, but I haven’t stopped learning more about the history of the country I claim as a new home. I think of history as a dialogue with the present, so whenever I’m puzzled by the turn of current events — which is all too often these days — I look to the past for context.
What’s the last great book you read?
Manning Marable’s “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” a superbly written and carefully researched biography of the civil rights icon. It’s filled with rare details about Malcolm’s childhood in Nebraska, the collapse of his family after his father’s death and his mother’s nervous breakdown, his incarceration in Massachusetts, and the transformation of his personal identity and political philosophy over the next two decades. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?
“Their Eyes Were Watching God,” which I read for the first time only five years ago, and which made me fall in love with Zora Neale Hurston. I was knocked out by her eye for detail, her rigorous use of formal and vernacular languages and the depth of her narrative perspectives. Since then, I’ve read her stories and essays and found her throughout to be an independent thinker. I loved Valerie Boyd’s excellent biography of her, “Wrapped in Rainbows.” And I just bought “Barracoon,” the book she wrote about a survivor of the last slaving ship to have made the Middle Passage.
What do you read when you’re working on a book? And what kind of reading do you avoid while writing?
I read anything that might be relevant, whether for content or outlook or style. When I was working on “The Moor’s Account,” which is based on the true story of the first African explorer of America, I read a lot of historical fiction, scholarly works on 16th-century Moroccan history, epics about Spanish exploration of the Americas and research on indigenous tribes of Florida and the Southwest.
For my new book, “The Other Americans,” which tells the story of how a Moroccan immigrant’s death affects his family and the Mojave town where he lives, I went back to old favorites — William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” and Toni Morrison’s “Paradise.” I also read a mix of novels set in the West (Joan Didion’s “Run River,” for example), crime novels (Pete Dexter’s “Paris Trout” and Richard Price’s “Lush Life”), war novels (Ben Fountain’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”), and novels on identity and belonging (Sigrid Nunez’s “A Feather on the Breath of God” and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “The Sympathizer”). How lucky am I that working means reading so many wonderful books? God, I love what I do.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
From Aminatta Forna’s novel “Happiness,” I learned that foxes have largely adapted to urban habitats. In cities like London, they survive by foraging in trash cans or chasing prey in parks and backyards, which occasionally causes social panics. And from the short story “Everything the Mouth Eats,” which appears in Jamel Brinkley’s collection “A Lucky Man,” I learned that Brazilian capoeira is not something you do, like a martial art, but something you play — body and spirit and music are joined together.
What moves you most in a work of literature?
I’m moved by voices that ring so true that they make me feel kinship with characters who are completely different from me. As I get older, I also find myself moved by depictions of friendship and kindness, which are so much harder to execute convincingly on the page than cruelty or betrayal.
What books would you recommend for somebody who wants to know more about Morocco?
The work of Mohamed Choukri, which I discovered when I was 15, was a revelation. His first novel, “Al-Khubz al-Hafi,” loosely based on his childhood and adolescence, was banned by the Moroccan government, but copies were making the rounds in my high school in Rabat. There’s also a fascinating book he wrote about his troubled and troubling friendship with Paul Bowles, which Telegram Books recently issued in English as “In Tangier.” Another writer I came across in my teens, and who was a huge influence on me, was the late, great Fatema Mernissi, the feminist scholar and sociologist. Several of her books appear in English, including “The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women’s Rights in Islam” and “Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood.”
How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or simultaneously? Morning or night?
Paper only. Books give me an intimacy that e-readers can’t deliver. I love the heft of a good novel in my hands, the smell of new pages, the fact that I can underline a beautiful sentence or mark an unusual detail. I interact with a paper book in many different ways; I’ve been known to throw a book across the room when it frustrates or angers me, for example. And books hold so many memories of the times and places in which I’ve read them. The other day, I opened a novel, and a bookmark that my daughter made me when she was 4 years old fell out. No e-reader can do that.
How do you organize your books?
Alphabetically, like a maniac. I’m constantly shifting books on the living room shelves to make room for new novels. Nonfiction is roughly by category — memoir, criticism, history, current events and research for my work. Graphic novels are under my husband’s care. He doesn’t alphabetize, but knows where everything is. (Or so he claims; I have my doubts.) Poetry is in my office, where I can reach for it whenever I need inspiration.
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?
A first edition of “Les Malheurs de Sophie,” which my husband gave me as a birthday gift some years ago. As a child, I read almost everything I could find in the Bibliothèques Rose et Verte — the Fantômette series, the “Famous Five” series, the “Secret Seven” series. But the books by the Comtesse de Ségur, which feature children who always get in trouble, were my favorite: “Diloy le Chemineau,” “Les Petites Filles Modèles” and “Les Malheurs de Sophie.”
Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? Your favorite antihero or villain?
Don Quixote, because life is too short to listen to reason; sometimes, you have to tilt at windmills.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
Voracious. My parents didn’t go to college, but they were devoted readers and took us to the library and the bookstore regularly. I grew up in a house full of books. It also helped that we had few distractions: In those days, there was only one television channel in Morocco — and it was owned by the state. So I spent every weekend and every summer reading. Comic books were my first love (Tintin, Astérix, Boule et Bill). From there, I moved on to adventure stories, crime, romance and historical epics. It wasn’t until my teens that I turned to contemporary fiction, reading the work of Leila Abouzeid, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Naguib Mahfouz, Hanan al-Shaykh, Tayeb Salih and others.
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
“First Things First,” by L. G. Alexander. It’s the textbook that was assigned for my first English class, when I was in the 10th grade. It covers the basics of grammar, usage and respectful communication. It also has a lot of big, beautiful pictures.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Toni Cade Bambara, Edward Said and James Baldwin, writers with whom I could talk for hours about literature, criticism and social change.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t?
“A Sport and a Pastime,” by James Salter. I found the main character insufferable, the supposedly erotic bits a little boring, and I cringed at the portrayal of the woman who’s the object of his desire.
How do you decide what to read next? Is it reviews, word-of-mouth, books by friends, books for research? Does it depend on mood or do you plot in advance?
When I’m reading for pleasure, I pick out books on the spur of the moment, based on a recommendation by a friend, or an interesting book review, or a mention on social media. But when I’m reading for work, I tend to be much more deliberate. I trust the advice of my editor at Pantheon, Erroll McDonald, who’s phenomenally well read and always has great suggestions for me.
What do you plan to read next?
“No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria,” by Rania Abouzeid, “Our Women on the Ground,” edited by Zahra Hankir, “Gingerbread,” by Helen Oyeyemi, “Free Food for Millionaires,” by Min Jin Lee, and “The Nickel Boys,” by Colson Whitehead.B:
跑狗图什么看【三】【清】、【准】【提】【接】【引】【五】【人】【在】【一】【日】【之】【间】【全】【部】【成】【圣】。 【至】【此】【当】【初】【道】【祖】【鸿】【钧】【收】【下】【的】【六】【个】【徒】【弟】【全】【部】【成】【为】【天】【道】【圣】【人】，【这】【让】【整】【个】【洪】【荒】【开】【始】【沸】【腾】【起】【来】。 【以】【往】【的】【洪】【荒】【世】【界】，【连】【一】【个】【圣】【人】【都】【很】【难】【见】【到】。 【可】【是】【现】【在】【骤】【然】【出】【现】【五】【个】，【而】【且】【圣】【人】【的】【实】【力】【强】【大】【无】【比】，【即】【使】【是】【准】【圣】【在】【其】【眼】【中】【亦】【是】【蝼】【蚁】【般】【的】【存】【在】，【如】【果】【说】【以】【前】【的】【洪】【荒】【是】【巫】【妖】【两】【族】【的】【时】
“【先】【喝】【酒】【吧】，【正】【事】【倒】【是】【有】【一】【点】【的】，【但】【是】，【我】【觉】【得】【现】【在】【气】【氛】【是】【不】【是】【有】【点】【儿】【不】【对】【呢】？【现】【在】【的】【气】【氛】【似】【乎】【只】【适】【合】【喝】【酒】，【林】【医】【生】【你】【说】【呢】？”【张】【力】【生】【说】。 “【对】【对】，【我】【请】【梁】【小】【姐】【喝】【一】【杯】【吧】，【也】【算】【是】【老】【相】【识】【了】，【好】【像】【没】【请】【你】【喝】【过】【酒】。”【林】【浩】【然】【笑】【说】。 【这】【个】【时】【候】，【这】【种】【气】【氛】，【确】【实】【不】【适】【合】【谈】【严】【肃】【的】【事】。 【听】【歌】，【喝】【酒】，【闲】【聊】，【是】【挺】
“【王】【妃】，【奴】【婢】——” 【燕】【儿】【的】【眼】【神】【之】【中】【尽】【是】【惊】【恐】，【正】【因】【为】【她】【实】【在】【是】【不】【清】【楚】【自】【己】【有】【做】【了】【什】【么】【事】【情】【让】【王】【妃】【生】【气】【的】，【所】【以】【才】【会】【更】【加】【的】【害】【怕】。 【往】【往】【这】【未】【知】【的】【恐】【惧】【才】【是】【最】【可】【怕】【的】【地】【方】。 【这】【燕】【儿】【毕】【竟】【是】【叶】【苓】【的】【贴】【身】【侍】【女】，【跟】【了】【叶】【苓】【这】【么】【多】【年】，【早】【已】【是】【叶】【苓】【的】【心】【腹】，【叶】【苓】【见】【燕】【儿】【这】【般】【担】【心】【受】【怕】【的】【模】【样】，【也】【是】【一】【头】【雾】【水】【的】【她】【忍】【不】跑狗图什么看【胡】【静】【皱】【了】【皱】【眉】，【竟】【然】【有】【这】【么】【丑】【的】【男】【人】【挡】【着】【她】【的】【道】。 “【你】【来】【了】。”【程】【浩】【说】【道】。 【胡】【静】【一】【把】【推】【开】【了】【鼠】【头】，【向】【程】【浩】【走】【过】【去】。 “【我】【今】【天】【来】【是】【为】【了】【请】【你】【帮】【忙】。”【胡】【静】【道】。 “【说】【吧】！【什】【么】【事】。” “【帮】【我】【找】【到】【胡】【家】【失】【踪】【的】【私】【生】【子】。”【胡】【静】【坐】【在】【沙】【发】【上】，【黑】【丝】【美】【腿】【翘】【着】【二】【郎】【腿】【说】【道】。 “【哦】？【看】【来】【你】【们】【家】【族】【内】【部】【还】【挺】
“【那】【么】，【有】【请】【双】【方】【第】【四】【回】【合】【对】【战】【的】【选】【手】【登】【台】。”【兔】【子】【喊】【道】。 【黛】【娜】【面】【色】【沉】【稳】【的】【对】【着】【众】【人】【点】【了】【点】【头】，【然】【后】【轻】【轻】【一】【跃】【便】【来】【到】【了】【擂】【台】【的】【中】【央】。 【至】【于】【魔】【性】【使】【者】【会】【出】【战】【的】【人】【选】，【她】【有】【着】【十】【足】【的】【把】【握】【会】【是】【风】【之】【使】【者】·【阵】。 【因】【为】【他】【们】【已】【经】【胜】【了】2【局】【比】【赛】，【相】【当】【于】【拿】【到】【了】【赛】【点】。 【这】【种】【情】【况】【之】【下】，【作】【为】【对】【方】【阵】【容】【中】【的】【最】【强】【者】，
【生】【活】【永】【远】【不】【要】【忽】【视】【了】【身】【边】【关】【心】【我】【们】【的】【人】，【总】【有】【一】【天】，【会】【意】【识】【到】【在】【我】【摸】【忙】【着】【收】【集】【鹅】【卵】【石】【时】，【却】【丢】【失】【了】【一】【颗】【昂】【贵】【的】【钻】【石】。 【她】【觉】【得】【她】【的】【人】【生】【中】，【宁】【静】【就】【是】【那】【颗】【昂】【贵】【的】【砖】【石】，【现】【在】【丢】【了】，【她】【要】【去】【找】【回】【来】。 “【快】【点】【穿】【好】【衣】【服】【和】【我】【出】【门】，【我】【限】【定】【你】【在】【五】【分】【钟】【之】【类】【完】【成】【我】【要】【求】【你】【做】【的】【事】。” 【夏】【青】【命】【令】【的】【口】【吻】【对】【真】【在】【沙】【发】【上】【躺】