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Two Novelists on The Lives of American Muslims
Before and After 9/11

Ayad Akhtar, Amy Waldman
In conversation
January 18, 2012

Akhtar’s American Dervish and Waldman’s The Submission, both explore the lives of American Muslims, one in pre-9/11 suburbia and the other in post-9/11 Manhattan. In Akhtar’s family drama, a father and son are fractured by their understandings of Islam. In Waldman’s story, a city is outraged when a Muslim architect wins a blind competition to design the 9/11 Memorial. Following the conflicts within and between religions, these two brilliant debut novels grapple with identity, community, and a country in crisis.

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