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The Other Americans
The Other Americans: A Novel | Laila Lalami
14 posts | 9 read | 1 reading | 37 to read
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor's Account--a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is 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 a veteran of the Iraq war; 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 or 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.
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Pickpick

Laila Lalami's The Other Americans spirals from a central event: the death, in a hit-and-run accident, of Driss Guerraoui. Driss and his wife Maryam immigrated from Morocco when their eldest daughter was young; their younger daughter, Nora, is the protagonist, along with Jeremy, her friend from high school and a current police officer. They are, however, accompanied by dozens of other narrators as we see the accident and the history of Driss ⬇️

UnabridgedPod and Maryam's family through almost every perspective. This novel is, simply, gorgeous. Its fragmentation brings eloquence to the story, layering truth over truth and revealing, ultimately, that everyone's story has a meaning, that all truths have relevance. And yet, there's a central truth in the weighing of stories, of privileging those who strive for improvement, who fail and move forward. This makes me SOOO want to read Lalami's earlier works. 1mo
Freespirit That's a great review😊 1mo
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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

📷: wikimedia commons

A bit wild to read this novel, w/multi-character POVs, directly after reading There There, but it points up differences between a first novel & a novel by a more experienced writer. Lalami, author of The Moor‘s Account & Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, puts together a novel of grief and loss, with well-sketched characters from a variety of backgrounds creating a mix of points of view that merge to solve a hit and run ⬇️

suzisteffen ... and to solve, for at least some of the characters, some central questions of their lives. Lalami pulls no punches in several scenes wherein racism, sexism, and Islamophobia (sometimes in a mix!) come into play, but she‘s not didactic and lets readers connect the dots about the actual murderer‘s motivations. 1mo
suzisteffen 4.5⭐️ and a very recommended read. 1mo
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suzisteffen
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So in May I discovered a random $25 Barnes & Noble gift card in my wallet.
Me: Hmmm, Normal People and the Other Americans are due back at the library and I won‘t have time to read them. I wonder if I have a Nook account?
*checks, resets password to account I haven‘t looked at for years, spends all the money on two new ebooks*
Now it‘s time to start this one for real!

Lindy Nice problem-solving. 😉 1mo
suzisteffen @Lindy 😂 Thanks. Note to self: Clean our wallet more often! 1mo
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erzascarletbookgasm
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The battle of the book covers, UK vs US.

I‘m sometimes in a dilemma as to which covers to choose. Here‘s the result of a poll done on Instagram by Electric Literature. It‘ll be interesting to see if your preferences are the same as the results. And more books to add to your TBR of course. 😁

https://electricliterature.com/the-battle-of-the-book-cover-u-k-versus-u-s/

Leniverse Pretty much in agreement with the article there! 👍 2mo
Soubhiville Cool article! I agreed with about half. 2mo
Dolly Interesting article! It would be fun spending a whole day in a book store just looking at and discussing covers. Thanks for the link! 2mo
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suzisteffen
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#friyayintro by the legend @howjessreads
1. I finished four New Yorkers this week!!! Ahhh! 😃😮🥰
2. Heading into the movie Booksmart right now, probably going to a play tonight and another one tomorrow night, grading a LOT, reading four books (including ragged). Riding my 🚲. Cleaning!! Woo yeah. 😂

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suzisteffen
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#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

1. Current reads are BLACK IS THE BODY; THE BIRD KING; and THE POISONED CITY (I have tagged two of them ... often ... in the past day 😂).
2. Next up is the tagged book, Laila Lalami‘s THE OTHER AMERICANS. Due 5/22!! Ahem.
3. Hunh. I go to a lot of movies? If you don‘t count all of the Marvel movies as book adaptations, then it was “If Beale Street Could Talk” in January. (That movie was ROBBED at the Oscars!)

suzisteffen Also next up on Libby is 2mo
suzisteffen & on Hoopla, after I finish Bird King, it‘s 2mo
Weaponxgirl When you get to skin folk can you give me a tag and I‘ll try to read it alongside if that‘s cool with you? I have access to this one! 2mo
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suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl I will do that!! Cool! 2mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen yay! I‘ll try to read as quickly as you do too! 2mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl one thing that might help us both is to read one short story per day? I often do that when I‘m reading like 8 books at a time. 😂 2mo
Weaponxgirl @suzisteffen yup, I hear ya. I do the same but then I eventually start to miss reading a big ole chunk of book at once. Sometimes it‘s one essay, one poem and one short story a day and I never finish anything for ages! 2mo
suzisteffen @Weaponxgirl I deffo get obsessed at the end and storm through the last few stories or essays, usually. 2mo
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Jolynne
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”Always the anti-immigrant, wall wanters believing they were the first to arrive and claiming all, as theirs.”

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Expandingbookshelf
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“The present could never be untethered from the past, you couldn‘t understand one without the other.”

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jouleian
Panpan

I really just couldn't get a hold of this book. It started off with one plot that branched out into a bunch of dead end tributary storylines that I didn't find useful at all. This book might be for someone else, but for me it was a DNF.

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Hooked_on_books
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A man is killed in a hit and run and those in the community then tell their stories and his in this multi-narrator novel of human relationships. Lalami explores so many current topics while driving home the unknowability of a person. I found the book slightly remote in places but overall I enjoyed it.

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TheLibrarian
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#bookmail - Had over 10 books in my cart but narrowed it down to 4. Feeling pretty proud of myself - showing some “shelf” control.

JennyM You did well - shelf control strong! 3mo
LauraJ Impressive feat! 3mo
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sophierayton
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Very well done. Lalami shows lots of different perspectives and takes a compassionate approach to them all. They weave together like magic to form a rich story that will keep you thinking long after finishing. I expect this book will be involved in this year's book awards and I hope it does well.

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Hooked_on_books
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I had to come to Portland tonight to pick up my husband from the airport, so I came a bit early to trade in my books at Powell‘s and Laila Lalami was speaking! I was so excited and she‘s just lucky. I have this one as an ARC and now look forward to it even more.

vivastory I wasn't aware of this one, I'll have to check it out. I loved 3mo
Hooked_on_books @vivastory It sounds really good. I‘m embarrassed to admit that I‘ve had The Moor‘s Account on my shelf for a couple of years but still haven‘t gotten to it. 😳 3mo
vivastory I read it a couple of years ago. I don't remember a lot of specifics, but I was really impressed by it 3mo
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rmaclean4
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Just started this one. I know very little about it!

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