A New York Times Editors' Choice Finalist for the California Book Award Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Best Book of the Year: Time, NPR, Bookpage, Los Angeles Times
In this brilliantly argued and deeply personal work, 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. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today, poignantly illustrating 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, Lalami illuminates how conditional citizens are all those whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.
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