The latest novel by Moroccan Laila Lalami “The Other Americans”, based in California, has been selected for the National Book Award. Of the 397 entries received, Laila Lalami’s book is one of five works selected in the fiction category of the National Book Award.
Other shortlisted novels include “Black Leopard, Red Wolf ” by Marlon James, winner of the 2015 Booker Prize, “Trust Exercise” by Susan Choi, a Pulizer Award finalist, “Sabrina & Corina: Stories” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and “Disappearing Earth” by Julia Phillips.
Released in the spring at Pantheon New York / Penguin Random House, “The Other Americans” has been widely acclaimed by critics as one of the “most anticipated” books in 2019. The fourth novel of the Moroccan writer is a thriller telling the story of Driss, a Moroccan immigrant living in California, who was killed by a fast-moving car with a hit and run as he crossed a dimly-lit intersection. The repercussions of his death involve a host of characters deeply divided by their ethnic origin, their religion, and their social class. The narrators take turns to give readers an introspection of their own past and present feelings while shedding light on the traits of other characters. The whole comes together as a captivating story.
Currently professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside, Laila Lalami is the author of three other novels: “Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits ” (2005), finalist of the Oregon Book Award, “Secret Son” ( 2009), and “The Moor’s Account” (2014) which has won several awards including the American Book Award and a finalist place in the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The winner of the National Book Award 2019 is yet to be announced on November 20th.