Moroccan novelist Laila Lalami, living in California, has been selected as a finalist for the famous National Book Award 2019 for her latest novel “The Other Americans”, the organizers announced on Tuesday. Lalami’s novel is part of five shortlisted books out of the 397 vying for the event’s fiction prize, the National Book Foundation said, noting that the winner will be announced on Nov. 20 during of a ceremony in New York.
Laila Lalami, who was selected last September, is competing against four other authors, including the 2015 Booker Prize winner Marlon James for “Black Leopard, Red Wolf”, Susan Choi, a finalist of the Pulizer prize for “Trust Exercise” and two other novice writers Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina: Stories) and Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth). “The Other Americans”, published in the spring by Pantheon New York/Penguin Random House, was widely acclaimed by critics as one of the “most awaited” books of 2019.
Lalami was the jury chair of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction, which also rewards works in four other categories: fiction, nonfiction, translation, poetry, and youth literature. In addition to the National Book Award, Laila Lalami was also selected among the six finalists of the Kirkus Prize, with a $ 50,000 award to the winner to be announced on October 24.