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The Moor's Account

The Moor's Account

The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami is a work of historical fiction following Estebanico, a Moroccan slave, who is one of four survivors of the failed Narváez expedition to colonise Spanish Florida in the sixteenth century. Of the four, his was the only testimony left off the record.

Lalami gives us Estebanico as history never did: as Mustafa, the vibrant merchant from Azemmur forced into slavery and a new name, and reborn as the first black explorer of the Americas, discovering and being discovered by hostile and compassionate tribes alike.

In Estebanico’s telling, the survivors’ journey across the New World transforms would-be conquerors into servants and outcasts into faith healers. He remains ever-observant, resourceful and hopeful that he might one day find his way back to his family, even as he experiences an unexpected (if ambiguous) camaraderie with his masters.

About the Author

Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat, Morocco in 1968, and is now based in Santa Monica, USA.

Lalami is the author of three novels, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, longlisted for the Orange Prize, and The Moor’s Account. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times, among other publications. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

The Moor’s Account was a finalist for the 2015 2015 Pulitzer Prize and is now longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.