Laila Lalami Novel Honored Again

“The Moor’s Account” receives Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Fiction

Lalami and book cover

Laila Lalami has won the 2015 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Fiction for her novel “The Moor’s Account.”

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside creative writing professor Laila Lalami has won the 2015 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Fiction for her novel “The Moor’s Account” (Pantheon, 2014). The award honors excellence in fiction, poetry and nonfiction by writers of African descent.

Lalami, who was born in Rabat, Morocco, was one of more than 200 authors whose work was nominated for the award. The judges described “The Moor’s Account” as “a sweeping novel of historical fiction” that “restores the important role of blacks in the early exploration of this continent.”

The novel is the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America — Estebanico, a Moroccan slave whose testimony was left out of the official record of the 1527 expedition of Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez. There were only four survivors.

“The Moor’s Account” was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in April, won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, was shortlisted for Italy’s The Bridge Book Award, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was a co-winner of the Arab American Book Award for Fiction. It also was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Books of the Year, one of NPR’s Great Reads of 2014, and was on the list of Kirkus Best Fiction Books of the Year.

Lalami joined the UCR faculty in 2007. She is the author of “Secret Son” and “Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits.”

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Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
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Additional Contacts

Laila Lalami
E-mail: laila.lalami@ucr.edu

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