A nomination that places her among the most prominent writers on the planet.
The Moroccan novelist Laila Lalami selected as one of the finalists for the National Book Award 2019 for her latest novel “The Other Americans.” On Tuesday, October 8, the National Book Foundation released its list of finalists after months of deliberations.
She is one of the five works selected from a total of 397 entries in the short-list of the prestigious competition, in the Fiction category. The National Book Foundation announces the names of the winners of the various sections on November 20, during a ceremony in New York, say the organizers.
The fourth novel of the Moroccan writer, published last spring at Pantheon New York / Penguin Random House, ” The Other Americans,” is a thriller that tells the story of Driss, a Moroccan immigrant, living in California. He was killed by a speeding driver while driving through a dimly lit intersection. His death will have repercussions on several characters, including his daughter Nora and his wife, Maryam.
The characters, deeply divided by their ethnic origin, their religion, and their social class, tell their stories, and links are formed between them as the book goes on.
Laila Lalami was born in Rabat in 1968. She studied in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside and is the author of “Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits” (2005), a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; “Secret Son” (2009); and “The Moor’s Account” (2014). The latter, who told the story of a Moroccan slave considered the first black explorer in America, had propelled Lalami to public notoriety in the United States and the Anglo-Saxon readers. The book won several awards, including the American Book Award and a finalist place in the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Lalami has served as president of the jury for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction, which also rewards works in four other categories: fiction, non-fiction, translation, poetry, and youth literature.
In addition to the National Book Award, Laila Lalami has also been named one of the six finalists for the Kirkus Prize, one of the world’s most wanted literary prizes, with a $ 50,000 prize awarded to the winner on October 24.