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LAILA LALAMI discusses her new novel THE OTHER AMERICANS with CHARLES FINCH

The Other Americans (Pantheon Books)

 From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor's Account, here is a timely and powerful new 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, as Driss Guerraoui is walking across a darkened intersection in California, he's 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 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, connections among them emerge, even as Driss's family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love--messy and unpredictable--is born.

Laila Lalami is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous PursuitsSecret Son; and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The Moor's Account was also on the Man Booker Prize longlist and on several best books of the year lists, including the Wall Street Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and NPR. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper's, The Guardian, and The New York Times. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

Charles Finch is the USA Today bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Vanishing Man (February 2019). His first contemporary novel, The Last Enchantments, appeared in 2014. Finch received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation, for excellence in reviewing, from the National Book Critics Circle. His essays and criticism frequently appear in the New York Times, Slate, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

Laila Lalami photo by April Rocha

Charles Finch photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Event date: 
Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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