Jessica Belle Smith lives in Chicago, IL, after graduating from the Univeristy of Michigan with an MFA in Poetry in 2000. When not cajoling co-eds into studying abroad through her work as a marketing writer, Jessica dabbles in pottery and poetry. Her latest writing project, however, finds her up to her eyelashes in fiction. Most recent books read include Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri and, I kid you not, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, the unrivaled Scottish bodice-ripper.
Few places are more evocative of mystery and the exotic than Casablanca. And anyone who has ever imagined its fragrances or color will recognize the setting of Laila Lalami’s second novel. But those who imagine Casablanca merely as a city of romance and North African charm may find themselves at a loss to reconcile the spices of their imagination with the brutal realities of poverty and the political and religious corruption Lalami portrays in Secret Son (Algonquin Books, April 2009).
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