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Laila Ibrahim
Laila Ibrahim
Novelist, author of Yellow Crocus family saga and more
Historical Fiction
Women
Gender
Family
Where else you can find me
Personal website
Substack
Book a 1:1 with Laila
Hi!

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Talk soon,
Sam

Hello!

On my mind

How did we get here? That's the question that drives my curiosity and spurs me to write about good mothering in painful circumstances. I love talking about undoing human made systems of oppression, strength in kindness, spiritual doubt and faith, as well as my journey as a writer and my writing practices. Really, I will talk about anything...ask me about my dog, or my garden, or my grands.

Why I'm excited to talk with readers

I love talking about my novels with people who have read them--even when comments are critical. Writing is mostly a solitary task, but I write to be a part of the ongoing human conversation. I want my stories to help me and readers to think about the beauty and poignancy of the human condition. Talking with bookclubs and individuals is a great joy for me.

I'm grateful for the support of readers.

Best wishes,

Laila

Let's talk! Open to...👇
Freewheeling conversations
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My latest
My Substack
 by 
Laila Ibrahim
Where I've written

Scarlet Carnation

1915. May and Naomi are extended family, their grandmothers’ lives inseparably entwined on a Virginia plantation in the volatile time leading up to the Civil War. For both women, the twentieth century promises social transformation and equal opportunity.

May, a young white woman, is on the brink of achieving the independent life she’s dreamed of since childhood. Naomi, a nurse, mother, and leader of the NAACP, has fulfilled her own dearest desire: buying a home for her family. But they both are about to learn that dreams can be destroyed in an instant. May’s future is upended, and she is forced to rely once again on her mother. Meanwhile, the white-majority neighborhood into which Naomi has moved is organizing against her while her sons are away fighting for their country.

In the tumult of a changing nation, these two women—whose grandmothers survived the Civil War—support each other’s quest for liberation and dignity. Both find the strength to confront injustice and the faith to thrive on their chosen paths.

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Golden Poppies

It’s 1894. Jordan Wallace and Sadie Wagoner appear to have little in common. Jordan, a middle-aged black teacher, lives in segregated Chicago. Two thousand miles away, Sadie, the white wife of an ambitious German businessman, lives in more tolerant Oakland, California. But years ago, their families intertwined on a plantation in Virginia. There, Jordan’s and Sadie’s mothers developed a bond stronger than blood, despite the fact that one was enslaved and the other was the privileged daughter of the plantation’s owner.

With Jordan’s mother on her deathbed, Sadie leaves her disapproving husband to make the arduous train journey with her mother to Chicago. But the reunion between two families is soon fraught with personal and political challenges.

As the harsh realities of racial divides and the injustices of the Gilded Age conspire to hold them back, the women find they need each other more than ever. Their courage, their loyalty, and the ties that bind their families will be tested. Amid the tumult of a quickly changing nation, their destiny depends on what they’re willing to risk for liberation.

“Book clubs will find much to love in this impassioned tale of resilient women.”

Publishers Weekly

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Paper Wife

Southern China, 1923. Desperate to secure her future, Mei Ling’s parents arrange a marriage to a widower in California. To enter the country, she must pretend to be her husband’s first wife—a paper wife.

On the perilous voyage, Mei Ling takes an orphan girl named Siew under her wing. Dreams of a better life in America give Mei Ling the strength to endure the treacherous journey and detainment on Angel Island. But when she finally reaches San Francisco, she’s met with a surprise. Her husband, Chinn Kai Li, is a houseboy, not the successful merchant he led her to believe.

Mei Ling is penniless, pregnant, and bound to a man she doesn’t know. Her fragile marriage is tested further when she discovers that Siew will likely be forced into prostitution. Desperate to rescue Siew, she must convince her husband that an orphan’s life is worth fighting for. Can Mei Ling find a way to make a real family—even if it’s built on a paper foundation?

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