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Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
A "profound and provocative" new work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and American Dervish: an immigrant father and his son search for belonging -- in post-Trump America, and with each other (Kirkus Reviews). "Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable." -- Salman Rushdie A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one -- least of all himself -- in the process.
American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
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. Mina is Hayat's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat's skeptical father can't deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina's side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher. When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to act -- with devastating consequences for all those he loves most. American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
"Sparkling and combustible" (Bloomberg Businessweek), "DISGRACED rubs all kinds of unexpected raw spots with intelligence and humor" (Newsday). "In dialogue that bristles with wit and intelligence, Akhtar puts contemporary attitudes toward religion under a microscope, revealing how tenuous self-image can be for people born into one way of being who have embraced another.... Everyone has been told that politics and religion are two subjects that should be off-limits at social gatherings. But watching these characters rip into these forbidden topics, there's no arguing that they make for ear-tickling good theater" (New York Times). "Add a liberal flow of alcohol and a couple of major secrets suddenly revealed, and you've got yourself one dangerous dinner party" (Associated Press).
Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
"A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home"--
Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami
The acclaimed, award-winning novelist--author of The Moor's Account and The Other Americans--now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of "conditional citizens." What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth--such as national origin, race, or gender--that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Throughout the book, she poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other. Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together the author's own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture.
Junk by Ayad Akhtar
*Now on Broadway at Lincoln Center starring Steven Pasquale* From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced, a fast-paced economic thriller that exposes the financial deal making behind the mergers and acquisitions boom of the 1980s. Set in 1985, Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin, resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer, Merkin intends to do the "deal of the decade," the one that will rewrite all the rules. Working on his broadest canvas to date, Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors, threatened workers, killer lawyers, skeptical journalists, and ambitious federal prosecutors. Although it's set 40 years in the past, this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.
Red Pill by Hari Kunzru
From the widely acclaimed author of White Tears, a bold new novel about searching for order in a world that frames madness as truth. After receiving a prestigious writing fellowship in Germany, the narrator of Red Pill arrives in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee and struggles to accomplish anything at all. Instead of working on the book he has proposed to write, he takes long walks and binge-watches Blue Lives--a violent cop show that becomes weirdly compelling in its bleak, Darwinian view of life--and soon begins to wonder if his writing has any value at all. Wannsee is a place full of ghosts: Across the lake, the narrator can see the villa where the Nazis planned the Final Solution, and in his walks he passes the grave of the Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist, who killed himself after deciding that "no happiness was possible here on earth." When some friends drag him to a party where he meets Anton, the creator of Blue Lives, the narrator begins to believe that the two of them are involved in a cosmic battle, and that Anton is "red-pilling" his viewers--turning them toward an ugly, alt-rightish worldview--ultimately forcing the narrator to wonder if he is losing his mind.
Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Seattle Times • The Economist • Kansas City Star • BookPage On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for more than nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, how and why does he stumble, how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom. It is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, provocative, moving, and of vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day. Praise for Joseph Anton “A harrowing, deeply felt and revealing document: an autobiographical mirror of the big, philosophical preoccupations that have animated Mr. Rushdie’s work throughout his career.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “A splendid book, the finest . . . memoir to cross my desk in many a year.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post “Thoughtful and astute . . . an important book.”—USA Today “Compelling, affecting . . . demonstrates Mr. Rushdie’s ability as a stylist and storytelle. . . . [He] reacted with great bravery and even heroism.”—The Wall Street Journal “Gripping, moving and entertaining . . . nothing like it has ever been written.”—The Independent (UK) “A thriller, an epic, a political essay, a love story, an ode to liberty.”—Le Point (France) “Action-packed . . . in a literary class by itself . . . Like Isherwood, Rushdie’s eye is a camera lens —firmly placed in one perspective and never out of focus.”—Los Angeles Review of Books “Unflinchingly honest . . . an engrossing, exciting, revealing and often shocking book.”—de Volkskrant (The Netherlands) “One of the best memoirs you may ever read.”—DNA (India) “Extraordinary . . . Joseph Anton beautifully modulates between . . . moments of accidental hilarity, and the higher purpose Rushdie saw in opposing—at all costs—any curtailment on a writer’s freedom.”—The Boston Globe
The Who The What by Ayad Akhtar
The Pulitzer prize-winning author of Disgraced explores the conflict that erupts within a Muslim family in Atlanta when an independent-minded daughter writes a provocative novel that offends her more conservative father and sister. Zarina has a bone to pick with the place of women in her Muslim faith, and she's been writing a book about the Prophet Muhammad that aims to set the record straight. When her traditional father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to tear her family apart. With humor and ferocity, Akhtar's incisive new drama about love, art, and religion examines the chasm between our traditions and our contemporary lives.
The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar
A chilling examination of how far we will go to survive and the consequences of the choices we make. In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A successful financial trader, Nick is kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, but with no one negotiating his release, he agrees to an unusual plan. He will earn his own ransom by helping his captors manipulate and master the world commodities and currency markets. "[A] tense, provocative thriller about the unholy nexus of international terrorism and big bucks...." (Seattle Times). "Ahktar again turns hypersensitive subjects into thought-provoking and thoughtful drama" (Newsday). "The prime theme is pulsing and alive: when human lives become just one more commodity to be traded, blood eventually flows in the streets" (Financial Times). "Whip-smart and twisty" (Time Out New York), "The Invisible Hand offers genuine insight into the future of the West" (Village Voice).