Guest blog by
Laila Lalami, author of
Laila can be found online at lailalalami.com
For the first two years during which I worked on my novel, I didn't have a title for it. It was simply labeled The Novel, both in my computer and in my head. Perhaps this was because I really wasn't sure what the book was going to be about. It started out as a historical novel, following two generations of two Moroccan families after independence; then I cut out the historical part; and eventually I got rid of one of the families. As my focus narrowed, my story became clearer to me. The Novel was about Youssef, a student and movie lover, who lives in a slum outside Casablanca. He discovers that his entire existence has been a lie--his dead and respectably poor father turns out to be a wealthy businessman who is very much alive. This discovery sets him on a journey to find his father and the truth.