Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s site as “a family saga, a murder mystery and a love story,” Lalami’s fourth novel traces the death of a Moroccan immigrant in the US whose demise brings together a range of characters “deeply divide by race, religion, and class.”
Laila Lalami is nominated alongside 15 other authors, including Valeria Luiselli’s Booker Prize-longlisted The Lost Children’s Archive, and Colson Whitehead’s multiple award-winningThe Nickel Boys. For the full longlist, click here.
According to the Aspen Words Literary Prize site, the prize is “a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.” The 2019 longlist included Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black, Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater, and Gael Faye’s Small Country. In 2018, the first year that the prize was awarded, Lesley Nneka Arimah and Zinzi Clemmons were finalists for, respectively, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky and What We Lose. The 2018 longlist also included Alain Mabanckou’s Black Moses.
The shortlist will be announced on February 19, 2020. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on April 16, 2020.
Best wishes to Laila Lalami!