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,...Read More
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.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author 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.
Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ayad is the author of American Dervish (Little, Brown & Co.), published in over 20 languages and named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012, as well as the forthcoming novel, Homeland Elegies (Little, Brown & Co.) in September 2020. As a playwright, he has written Junk (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Kennedy Prize for American Drama, Tony nomination); Disgraced (Lincoln Center, Broadway; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony nomination); The Who & The What (Lincoln Center); and The Invisible Hand (NYTW; Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, Olivier, and Evening Standard nominations). As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within.
Among other honors, Akhtar is the recipient of the Steinberg Playwrighting Award, the Nestroy Award, the Erwin Piscator Award, as well as fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell, the Sundance Institute, and Yaddo, where he serves as a Board Director. Additionally, Ayad is a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop. He lives in New York City.
"... a beautiful novel about an American son and his immigrant father that has echoes of The Great Gatsby and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life." - Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"Akhtar...deftly weaves politics, family, friendship, capitalism, work and the eternal existential crisis of being 'American' into a tapestry of form that includes essay, lyric passages and dialogue in its pattern (which, like America, is somewhat chaotic)." - Sarah Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle
"...one of the core assets of this fine and deeply moving piece of writing is the complexity of its thinking, its innate understanding that seeing the absurdity of worshiping American exceptionalism in this most incurious of nations does not mean you cannot also see the similar peril of subsuming one’s mind to a theocracy outside its borders..." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"Achingly intimate . . . The personal is political in this beautiful, intense elegy for an America that often goes awry while still offering hope." - Library Journal
"Masterful.... A symphony about America.... [Akhtar's] intellectual explorations of identity and self-presentation are coupled with deep emotional urgency.... With its insight and honesty, Homeland Elegies deserves to be read widely." - USA Today
"Outstanding.... [A] courageous and timely novel, deftly interweaving fact and fiction, memoir and history.... It's hard to convey the breadth and brilliance of this work." - The Guardian