Book Events

Parnassus Book Club with Ayad Akhtar

When: Wed., Oct. 17 2012

American Dervish may be Ayad Akhtar’s first novel, but he’s far from new to storytelling. He’s an accomplished playwright who has taught alongside Andre Gregory, and he garnered critical praise for playing the lead in the film The War Within. So it’s not entirely surprising that his first foray into literature has been so highly regarded. Of course, there’s also Akhtar’s timely and thought-provoking subject matter — how it feels to be Muslim in America. Akhtar writes about it beautifully, but the real brilliance is how he’s set the novel in the 1980s Midwest — the setting strips all the contemporary associations with Islam away, and leaves those of us who are curious about the religion with a friend in first-generation Pakistani-American Hayat Shah, who is similarly curious. Join Akhtar on either (or both) of two occasions at Parnassus to discuss what People magazine describes as “a particularly fresh and touching coming-of-age story that illuminates the everyday lives of Muslims in America and brings new resonance to universal questions of belief and belonging.”

Laura Hutson

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