Laila Lalami at Harvard Book Store
Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer LAILA LALAMI—author of Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Moor's Account—for a discussion of her new novel, The Other Americans. She will be joined in conversation by MIN JIN LEE, author of the celebrated National Book Award–finalist Pachinko.
About The Other Americans
Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant 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; Efrain, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, a former classmate of Nora's and a veteran of the Iraq war; 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 tell their stories, the invisible connections that tie them together—even while they remain deeply divided by race, religion, or class—are slowly revealed. When the mystery of what happened to Driss Guerraoui unfolds, a family's secrets are exposed, a town's hypocrisies are faced, and love, in its messy and unpredictable forms, is born.
"Lalami is in thrilling command of her narrative gifts, reminding readers why The Moor's Account was a Pulitzer finalist . . . Nuanced characters drive this novel . . . Lalami expertly mines an American penchant for rendering the 'other.'" —Kirkus Reviews starred review
“This deftly constructed account of a crime and its consequences shows up, in its quiet way, the pressures under which ordinary Americans of Muslim background have labored since the events of 9/11.” —J.M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
“A writer of uncommon conviction and tremendous insight.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer