Moroccan Laila Lalami Finalist at 2019 National Book Awards

Laila Lalami. Photo credit: April Rocha

Rabat – The National Book Foundation, a non-profit organization in the US, has selected the Moroccan author Laila Lalami’s latest book for the shortlist of the 2019 National Book Awards. The foundation published the award shortlist yesterday, October 8.

Lalami’s nominated book “The Other Americans,” tells the story of an Arab American Muslim family struggling with identity, belonging, love, and justice in today’s United States.

The foundation shortlisted the book for its fiction category award. Other award categories include young people’s literature, translated literature, poetry, and nonfiction.

The winners will be announced on November 20, 2019.

Lalami expressed her happiness for being part of the award’s shortlist.

The National Book Awards are given annually. The National Book Foundation established the awards in 1936.

“The Other Americans” is also competing to receive the $50,000 Kirkus Prize, one of the highest awards that an author can receive in the US.

Lalami was born in Rabat and received her education in Morocco, the UK, and the US. Currently, she teaches creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Another of her other highly-praised works, titled, “The Moor’s Account,” also tells the story of a Moroccan in America. The book is a historical fiction, set in 1527.

“The Moor’s Account” 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.