The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 3:55pm -- BHanley

The Other Americans masterfully examines the aftermath of a patriarch’s violent death and the effects it has on family, colleagues, and community members. Told from a myriad of perspectives, the story begins with the hit-and-run death of Driss, a Moroccan immigrant living in California who owns a restaurant business. Perspectives include Driss’ wife and daughters, the police and detectives, and the business owners next door. Over the course of the novel, each individual character’s connection to Driss comes to light. Laila Lalami has an elegant voice, with an ability to capture each character’s distinctive voice, personality, and motive. The death of Driss evokes a timely and powerful meditation on race, religion, and class. At times heartbreaking and melancholy, The Other Americans paints a rough and raw sketch of a family and a community in today’s climate. Highly recommended for readers of immigrant and contemporary fiction. Read-alikes include Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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