Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami’s newest novel, The Other Americans, is garnering rave reviews, and we’re thrilled to add to the excitement with a remarkable audiobook production.
When Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant, is killed by a speeding car as he crosses an intersection, the accident is pieced together through the lens of many different characters, including his daughter, an undocumented witness, and a detective (among others). The result is a dynamic listening experience that explores race, religion, class, love, and family secrets.
Since the story incorporates many voices, it’s no surprise that the audiobook has a full cast of extremely talented narrators to bring The Other Americans to life. Let’s meet them:
P.J. Ochlan: Laila Lalami’s work is exactly the kind of writing I savor as a narrator. I play Jeremy, who, while he has a long but distant history with Nora, dreams about a future with her. His complicated circumstances and seemingly contradictory nature make for a character arc that I loved diving into. Alongside an all-star cast and with the creative dream team of producer Kelly Gildea and director Fred Sanders, I’m honored to be one of The Other Americans.
Mozhan MarnĂ˛ is the voice of Nora, a jazz composer, who is the daughter of the man killed. MarnĂ˛ has narrated many audiobooks, but she’s also a film and television actress. She’s acted in projects such as The Blacklist, House of Cards, The Stoning of Soraya M., and Charlie Wilson’s War.
Ali Nasser: Driss Guerraoui was a very interesting character for me to play, as we are both immigrants from North Africa who left our home countries to seek better opportunities and carve out our place in the world. When I first read his chapters, he immediately leapt out of the page for me—not only did I relate to his journey and dream for a better life, but I was also able to bring some of my own personal experiences and emotions into his voice. I am grateful to our director Fred Sanders for entrusting me to bring Driss to life and helping me find his voice.
Susan Nazemi plays Maryam, the widow of Driss, who has never stopped missing her homeland. Nazemi is a classically trained actress who has performed in theaters around the world.
Ozzie Rodriguez: I had the honor of reading the character of Efrain.Â As a Latino in the U.S., I’ve witnessed and often felt the same fear and trepidation Efrain felt in trying to speak up and do the right thing, even with everything to lose.Â That push-and-pull, that tug of the heart we experience between feelings of guilt and moral obligation, is something we all endure as human beings, regardless of race or ethnicity, which is what makes The Other Americans such an intriguing book about the human condition.
Meera Simhan voices the character of Selma. In addition to audiobook narration, Simhan has appeared in television shows and films including Judging Amy, Cold Case, and Date Movie.
Mark Bramhall: Sometimes, only the imaginary can explain the real. Given our chaotic “national conversation” about race, religion, refugees and democracy in general these days, it seems obvious, after reading Laila Lalami’s contemporary mystery tale, that only a work of fiction could convey so many underlying realities. Speaking Anderson’s narrative portion was great fun: being the “blind” one who illuminates—the good bad guy, or bad good guy—either way, shedding light: an actor’s treat!
Adenrele Ojo is the voice of Coleman, a detective in the story. Ojo is an award-winning audiobook narrator who is also an accomplished actress. Some of her notable credits include August Wilsonâ€™s Joe Turnerâ€™s Come and Gone and Jitney.
Max Adler: I loved every minute of recording Ms. Lalamiâ€™s beautifully nuanced character of AJ in the fascinating book The Other Americans. AJ, like many Americans today, feels that even though he worked so hard and did everything right, the â€śAmerican Dreamâ€ť and success feels further and further away and unobtainable. Getting to bring him to life and dissect the delicious meal of words written by Ms. Lalami and under the fine direction of Fred Sanders was a joy and an honor.
â€śA compelling portrait of race and immigration in America… Lalami is remarkably skilled at rendering the interior lives of her cast.â€ť â€”Time
â€śPulitzer Prize finalist Lalami (The Moorâ€™s Account) may be our finest contemporary chronicler of immigration and its discontents. Her new novel spares no one, and itâ€™s the kind of page-turning mystery you crave for a rainy reading weekend.â€ť â€”The Washington Post