The nominations are the latest in a long list of previous accolades for her work.
Rabat – Two highly-coveted awards in the US have nominated Moroccan author Laila Lalami, who is based in California, US, for her latest book “The Other Americans.”
The novel is one of ten titles up for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, and one of six finalists competing to receive the $50,000 Kirkus Prize, also one of the highest awards that an author can receive in the US.
Lalami expressed her excitement over the National Book Award nomination on Twitter, saying she was so grateful she could “barely type.”
I was packing for the Brooklyn Book Fest when my phone lit up with a text of congratulations. I’m stunned and grateful and shaking so hard I can barely type. https://t.co/XJm8i1c4tB
— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) September 20, 2019
In regards to the Kirkus Prize, she said it was an honor to be among “such fine company.”
What a thrill and an honor to be included in such fine company!! My heart is full.❤️? https://t.co/7L2SP9MHyC
— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) September 17, 2019
“The Other Americans” tells the story of a Moroccan immigrant in the US who is killed in a mysterious accident and how his death affects the people he left behind. The book has received wide-spread praise from literary critics.
Lalami was born in Rabat and received her education in Morocco, the UK, and the US. She is also the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Currently, she teaches creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.
One of her other highly-praised works, titled, “The Moor’s Account,” also tells the story of a Moroccan in America. Instead of a crime novel, the book is historical fiction, set in 1527.
The book won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also on the Man Booker Prize longlist and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Judging by her track record with awards, Lalami’s outlook is hopeful for “The Other Americans.”