BCB Conditional Citizens (paperback)


A deeply personal exploration of the immigrant experience and what it means to be American, from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-nominated author of The Other Americans and The Moor’s Account.

In Conditional Citizens, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using her own story as a starting point for an exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. She poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, weaving together her experiences with an examination of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture. Conditional citizens, she contends, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other. In this brilliantly argued and deeply personal work of nonfiction, Lalami taps into history, politics, and literature, and elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today.