The Other Americans

Finalist, National Book Awards 2019 for Fiction

ISBN 9781524747145
Pantheon Books / Penguin Random House
Laila Lalami author photo, credit April Rocha
Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits; Secret Son; and The Moor’s Account, winner of the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

From the publisher:

From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor’s Account, here is a timely and powerful novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant—at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.

Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant living in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she’d left for good; his widow, Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora’s and an Iraq War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son’s secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself.

As the characters—deeply divided by race, religion, and class—tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as Driss’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love, messy and unpredictable, is born.

X