The Submission (eBook)
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
Ten years after 9/11, a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel reimagines its aftermath
A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner’s name—and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country’s.
The memorial’s designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, she finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself—as unknowable as he is gifted. In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.
In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman’s cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure their perspectives. A striking portrait of a fractured city striving to make itself whole, The Submission is a piercing and resonant novel by an important new talent.
About the Author
Amy Waldman was co-chief of the South Asia bureau of The New York Times. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic and the Boston Review and is anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010. She lives with her family in Brooklyn. This is her first novel.
Praise for The Submission…
“A masterful debut . . . Waldman unspools her story with the truth-bound grit of a seasoned journalist and the elegance of a born novelist.” —Entertainment Weekly “Gripping, deeply intelligent . . . panoramic in scope but thrillingly light on its feet . . . [A] dazzling tapestry of a grieving city.” —Kimberly Cutter, Marie Claire "The Submission reads as if the author had embraced Tom Wolfe's famous call for a new social realism...and in doing so has come up with a story that has more verisimilitude, more political resonance, and way more heart than Mr. Wolfe's own 1987 bestseller, The Bonfire of the Vanities."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review "A gorgeously written novel of ideas...The Submission is sure to generate a lot of discussion in book clubs across the land."—NPR's Fresh Air "Addictively readable...Not unlike The Wire's David Simon...Waldman has an eye for the less sound bite-worthy but crucial ways in which ideology and influence make their imprint on the world."—Vogue