Monday, January 30, 2012
A stirring and explosive debut novel about an American Muslim family struggling with faith and belonging in the pre-9/11 world.
Hayat Shah was captivated by Mina long before he met her: his mother’s beautiful, brilliant, and soulfully devout friend is a family legend. When he learns that Mina is leaving Pakistan to live with the Shahs in America, Hayat is thrilled. Hayat’s father is less enthusiastic. He left the fundamentalist world behind with reason. What no one expects is that when Mina shows Hayat the beauty and power of the Quran, it will utterly transform the boy.
Mina’s real magic may be that the Shah household, always contentious and sad, becomes a happy one. But when Mina finds her own path to happiness, the ember of jealousy in Hayat’s heart is enflamed by the community’s anti-Semitism and he acts with catastrophic consequences for those he loves most.
About the Author: Ayad Akhtar is a first generation Pakistani-American from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds degrees in Theater from Brown University and Directing from Columbia University, where he won multiple awards for his work. American Dervish is his first novel. He lives in New York.