July's Book: American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ayad Akhtar’s novel American Dervish is our pick for the July Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! It’s a coming-of-age novel about Muslims in America that follows a young man named Hayat who has a romantic and spiritual awakening as he’s growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ayad Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his play “Disgraced,” and American Dervish is his debut novel. We hope you've been reading the book along with us. Leave your comments and questions!


Ayad Akhtar

Comments [6]

Deborah Romano from Brooklyn

Who are some contemporary writers you admire? and some of your literary influences?

Jul. 23 2013 12:51 PM
Carolyn Goldberg from New York City

Do you actually know any Jewish person who was interested in converting to Islam? I know you were once married. Was it to a Jewish person?

The ending suggested a sequel. As you said, "that's a story for another time." Can you comment on that.

Jul. 23 2013 12:41 PM
Patricia Sweeney from New York

And by the way, here is a real American Dervish:
Irving Karchmar

Jul. 23 2013 12:36 PM
Patricia Sweeney

Just began the book. Terrific writing. Why is Dervish in the title?

Jul. 23 2013 12:33 PM
Martha Lain

The only sympathetic characters in the book are the Jewish neuroscientist and the narrator who loses his Muslim faith. The Muslim characters include the alcoholic, philandering father, the unhappy mother, the anorexic and self-denying friend, a horrible imam; most of the Muslim community are anti-Semites. The book was supposedly about coming of age as a Muslim but I saw little positive about the Muslim faith or the Muslim community or the Muslim mind.

Jul. 21 2013 06:57 PM
Jason Adams

Sounds like a great book. My girlfriend is a bit of a book worm so every few months I try to buy her a couple of new books that she usually takes to her book club. About a month ago I bought her “Mofongo” by Cecilia Samartin,, and she said they’ve already finished it, so now I'm looking for a few more. This sounds like one she and her club might really like. Thanks for the review and idea.

Jul. 17 2013 02:15 PM

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