Deschutes Public Library announced in an online-only event Saturday evening that “The Other Americans,” by Morocco-born author Laila Lalami, is its selection for the 2021 installment of its annual community read, A Novel Idea … Read Together.

It also announced the selection of a book for young readers, “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang, marking just the second time in the program’s 18-year history that a selection for young readers has been included.

“This year’s A Novel Idea double-feature follows the story of immigrant families and their pursuit of the American Dream,” Liz Goodrich, Deschutes Public Library programs supervisor, said in a press announcement.

Goodrich noted that both books share a common thread in characters searching for inclusion while also “absorbing the brunt of ethnic injustice and white privilege in America.”

“Both Lalami and Yang are first-generation immigrants and they share that with the protagonists in their books, overcoming stereotypes, and racism,” Goodrich said. “We aim to provide a platform for Deschutes County residents to have conversations, discover cultures and share ideas that can bring about meaningful change.”

A month of virtual programs exploring themes and ideas in the books begins April 3, culminating in a live-streamed presentation by Yang on May 1 and Lalami May 2. All programs, including the authors’ presentations, are free of charge.



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