Laila Lalami Wins Another Honor for Her Novel The Moor’s Account

LalamiLaila Lalami, a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, has won the 2015 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Fiction presented by the Hurston/Wright Foundation in Washington, D.C. The award honors the best novel written by an author of African descent. Professor Lalami is a native of Rabat, Morocco.

LalamiBookProfessor Lalami was honored for her novel The Moor’s Account (Pantheon, 2014). The novel is written as the memoir of the first Black slave in America, Estebanico, who was on the ill-fated 1527 expedition of Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez. The voyage began with a crew of 600 men. Only four survived. The novel won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Professor Lalami earned a bachelor’s degree in Morocco and a master’s degree in linguistics from University College London. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Southern California. Dr. Lalami joined the faculty at the University of California, Riverside in 2007. Earlier books authored by Professor Lalami are Secret Son (Algonquin Books, 2009) and Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (Algonquin Books, 2005).

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