American Dervish: A Novel (CD-Audio)
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Fall '12 Reading Group List
“At its simplest American Dervish is a coming-of-age story. At its most complex, it is a story of religious faith, marital strife, human nature, love, envy, sexual awakening, betrayal, and racism. It is impossible to leave Akhtar's exceptional debut novel without experiencing the struggles and pain of young Hayat as he comes to terms with both his Muslim faith and his humanity.”
— Lynn Riggs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI
From Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar, a stirring and explosive debut novel about an American Muslim family in Wisconsin struggling with faith and belonging in the pre-9/11 world.
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.
American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life.
About the Author
Ayad Akhtar is a screenwriter, playwright, actor, and novelist. He is the author of the novel American Dervish and was nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay for the film The War Within. His plays include Disgraced, recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; The Who & The What and The Invisible Hand, both of which received Off-Broadway runs and are being produced around the world; and Junk, produced at Lincoln Center in 2017 He lives in New York City.
"Akhtar, the star and director of the 2005 terrorism drama The War Within, offers what promises to be one of the most complex treatments of Muslim immigration and fundamentalism to come from an American-born (albeit first-generation) writer."—Boris Kachka, New York Magazine
"Whether you believe religion is a precious gift from God or the greatest scourge of mankind, you will find yourself represented in these pages. With brilliant storytelling and exquisitely balanced points of view, Ayad Akhtar creates characters who experience the rapture of religion but also have their lives ripped apart by it."—Manil Suri, author of The Death of Vishnu and The Age of Shiva