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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013
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.
©2011 Ayad Akhtar (P)2011 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

" [A] heartfelt first novel.... Akhtar's characters drive a story that's compelling and believable even at its most alien. American Dervish offers a rich look at a nearby world that many Americans don't know nearly enough about." (Entertainment)
"Loss of innocence-sexual, of course, but also cultural and religious-is the subject of Ayad Akhtar's poignant American Dervish, set in a Muslim-American community in the early 1980s.... With characters full of contradictions and complexity, this debut novel is refreshing for its lack of the political and religious hand-wringing so common in the post-9/11 world. But it's also resonantly familiar in its depiction of youthful obsession and the desire to belong." (O, the Oprah Magazine)
"a compelling debut with a family drama centered on questions of religious and ethnic identity.... Engaging and accessible, thoughtful without being daunting: This may be the novel that brings Muslim-American fiction into the commercial mainstream." (Kirkus, Starred Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Stevon on 05-13-12

quite the tale

A different kind of story for me, about any kind of religion let alone the Mulim faith. A coming of age story that was educatioinal and informational for a non-Muslim like me. Still at its core it was a story about human nautre that could've had any setting for a background. They say, whomver they is, that it takes 3 generations for a family of immigrants to fully assimilate into the American culture. I wonder if that's really true?

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By David on 01-24-12

a complex, rewarding book

What about Ayad Akhtar’s performance did you like?

Because of Mr. Akhtar's background and the fact that he is also a wonderful actor, his performance is completely involving, his accents spot on. You really feel as if you come to know the people inhabiting this book.

Who was the most memorable character of American Dervish and why?

The character of Meena, the

Any additional comments?

This is a book to live in, full of insights and beautifully told. It's one of the best books I've listened to in ages.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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