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The Other Americans: A Novel (Paperback)
Winner of the Arab American Book Award in Fiction
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize in Fiction
Finalist for the California Book Award
Longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize
A Los Angeles Times bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, Time, NPR, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dallas Morning News, The Guardian, Variety, and Kirkus Reviews
Late one spring night in California, Driss Guerraoui—father, husband, business owner, Moroccan immigrant—is hit and killed by a speeding car. The aftermath of his death brings together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui's daughter Nora, a jazz composer returning to the small town in the Mojave she thought she'd left for good; her mother, Maryam, who still pines for 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 Iraqi 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, each in their own voice, connections among them emerge. Driss’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love—messy and unpredictable—is born. Timely, riveting, and unforgettable, The Other Americans is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.
Winner of the Arab American Book Awards Fiction Prize
“[A] page-turning mystery. . . . Lalami may be our finest contemporary chronicler of immigration and its discontents.” —The Washington Post
“You’re in the hands of a maestra of literary fiction. . . . Riveting. . . . Excellent.” —NPR
“Timely and eloquent.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Stunning. . . . Incisive. . . . Poignant. . . . Devastating.” —The Atlantic
“Revelatory. . . . Lalami is at the height of her powers in this poignant symphony of perspectives about the painful complexity of life as a Muslim American.” —Esquire
“A beautiful, compassionate novel from a writer with keen insight into the human condition and a rare gift for crafting perfect prose.” —Los Angeles Times
“A powerful novel of intolerance and compassion, resilience and weakness, love and loss.” —The Economist
“A complex dialogue on race, identity and politics; this book is a sign of the times we live in today.” —Vogue
“Demonstrates brilliantly, in ways foreseen and unforeseen, as often denied as acknowledged, how the personal and political enmesh in all our lives.” —The Guardian
“A compelling portrait of race and immigration in America. . . . Lalami is remarkably skilled at rendering the interior lives of her cast.” —Time
“Lalami’s scrupulous construction lends The Other Americans a page-turning excitement. . . . Her interrogation is rigorous, and her provocations—about love’s dangerous power, the ties between resentment and privilege—resonate through to the last page.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Impeccably written. . . . I love the depth of character here for Nora and Jeremy. The narrative is good from many points of view but theirs is the heart of this story and what a beautiful beating heart it is.” —Roxane Gay
“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, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer
“A combo love story, mystery and literary exploration of immigration in America.” —Nicholas Kristof
“Confirms Lalami’s reputation as one of the country’s most sensitive interrogators, probing at the fault lines in family, and the wider world.” —Financial Times
“Splendid. . . . The Other Americans is the kind of book you read breathlessly, savoring each character’s turn in the spotlight.” —The Seattle Times
“Deft, direct, and absorbing. . . . [An] elegant, scalloping mystery. . . . Haunting.” —Newsday
“Laila Lalami’s beautiful prose, which unfolds in alternating perspectives, explores immigration, race, religion, and class in a very timely way.” —HelloGiggles