Laila Ibrahim
AUTHOR

Laila Ibrahim

I'm incredibly grateful for the reception that Yellow Crocus has received. Agent after agent and editor after editor told me essentially, "Great writing, but nobody wants to read this story." That was both heartening and heartbreaking to hear. The only reason I started writing was to get this story into the world! But I was glad to hear my writing didn't suck :).

I was completely surprised when the writing bug bit me. The idea for the story came to me in 1999 while I was with a group of people talking about Tiger Woods. Someone mentioned that he identifies as much as an Asian person as an African-American person. I thought to myself, "Of course he does, his mother is Asian. You form your core identity in relationship to your primary caregivers. It's a basic part of the attachment process."

Then the image of Lisbeth, a white baby, breastfeeding in the loving arms of Mattie, an enslaved wetnurse came to me in a flash. I thought about what it would be like for Lisbeth to dearly love Mattie and then be taught by society that she wasn't a full person. I wondered how it would feel for Mattie to be forced to abandon Samuel, her own child, in the slave Quarters. Then I imagined what the experience would be like for Miss Anne, the birth mother, to have her own child twist away from her to get into Mattie's arms. These characters started to haunt me. Various scenes popped into my head. Though I had never written anything, I was being called to tell this story. For my fortieth birthday, I began the personal marathon of writing my first novel. I hope you will come to love these characters as much as I have.

Living Right, my second novel, also popped into my head. I imagined a scene in hospital room with a young, Evangelical Christian confiding in his sister that he had attempted suicide because he could not live with the shame of telling his parents that he was gay. I wanted to know what happened to that young man and his family. I hope I've written an honest story with compassion.

Mustard Seed was a natural outgrowth of my interested in what happen to Lisbeth and Mattie after the war. I knew little about the reconstruction period, so it has been interesting--and painful--to learn about the laws and practices that were put in place by the owning class to continue to get low and reduced price labor.

My next novel will jump times and places again. This one starts in southern China in the Guangdong province and the city of Guangzhou--what Westerners called Canton. The main characters family has fallen onto hard time due to war and famine. They arrange a marriage for her to a young widow from California. She travels with him and her two-year old (step) son through Angel Island to the San Francisco Bay Area.

A third novel in the Yellow Crocus series is starting to swirl in my mind and soul....

My experiences and education in developmental psychology provided ample fodder for my stories. I've worked as a preschool teacher and director (Woolsey School!), a birth doula, and as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

I'm a devout Unitarian Universalist, determined to do my part to add a little more love and justice to our hurting world. My wonderful wife, Rinda, and I live in a small co-housing community in Berkeley, California with two other families. Our amazing young adult children, Kalin and Maya, are kind enough to text, FaceTime and call me on a regular basis. We are delighted to have our goddaughter Wynnie in our household too. I'm blessed to be working full time as a novelist and writer. I love calling/Skyping into bookclubs and classes if my schedule allows it. Feel free to get in touch to arrange via my website where you can also read the blog I wrote a few years ago: http://www.lailaibrahim.com

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Best Sellers

    • Paper Wife

    • A Novel
    • By: Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated by: Nancy Wu
    • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
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    • Story
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    From the bestselling author of Yellow Crocus comes a heart-wrenching story about finding strength in a new world. Southern China, 1923. Desperate to secure her future, Mei Ling’s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Just okay..disappointed

    • By Donna Smith McG on 11-03-18

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    • Yellow Crocus

    • By: Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
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      4.5 out of 5 stars 7,247
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    This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    • By MissSusie66 on 02-27-15

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    • Mustard Seed

    • By: Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
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      4.5 out of 5 stars 862
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 743
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    The bestselling author of Yellow Crocus returns with a haunting and tender story of three women returning to the plantation they once called home....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Part TWO

    • By Dorothy on 04-16-18

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    • Living Right

    • By: Laila Ibrahim
    • Narrated by: Susan Hanfield
    • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
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    Author Laila Ibrahim tackles a subject directly out of the headlines in Living Right, an intimate story about a mother's struggle to reconcile her religious beliefs with her son's sexual orientation....

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    • Gelber Krokus

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    Bereits Augenblicke nachdem Lisbeth geboren ist, wird sie ihrer Mutter weggenommen und Mattie übergeben, einer jungen Sklavin...

    Regular price: $7.35

    • Eine Handvoll Senfkörner

    • By: Laila Ibrahim
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    • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
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    Ohio, 1868: Lisbeths Vater liegt im Sterben. Um ihn noch einmal zu sehen, reist die junge Frau zur Plantage Fair Oaks, wo sie einst...

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