The Submission

  • by Amy Waldman
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Claire Harwell hasn't settled into grief; events haven't let her. Cool, eloquent, raising two fatherless children, Claire has emerged as the most visible of the 9/11 widows who became a potent political force in the aftermath of the catastrophe. She longs for her husband, but she has found her mission: she sits on a jury charged with selecting a fitting memorial for the victims of the attack. Of the thousands of anonymous submissions that she and her fellow jurors examine, one transfixes Claire: a garden on whose walls the names of the dead are inscribed. But when the winning envelope is opened, they find the designer is Mohammad Khan - Mo - an enigmatic Muslim-American who, it seems, feels no need to represent anyone's beliefs except his own.
When the design and its creator are leaked, a media firestorm erupts, and Claire finds herself trying to balance principles against emotions amid escalating tensions about the place of Islam in America.
A remarkably bold and ambitious debut, The Submission is peopled with journalists, activists, mourners, and bureaucrats who struggle for advantage and fight for their ideals. In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman's cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure individual lives from their own points of view. A striking portrait of a city - and a country - fractured by old hatreds and new struggles, The Submission is a major novel by an important new talent.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Some books were meant to be read...

This did not work for me at all as an audiobook and I could not finish it.

One problem was my reaction to the characters... when I found someone insufferable, which was often, this distracted me... the audio would move on, leaving me to miss what came next.

Another annoying aspect of the book is that the voice of the author (not so much the narrator) has a certain overarching air of pretentiousness and self-importance that is sometimes found in people who are, shall we say, steeped a bit too long in the Ivy League? I would be surprised if the author is not a grad of Harvard or Yale, and would not be surprised if she were a graduate of both. This, too, was distracting and probably came across more strongly in the audio version than it would if I were reading it. At least I hope so.

If I do finish the book I will get a hard copy. This story needs to be read at the reader's pace and without the distractions that can come with the audio-book medium. If your pace happens to match that of the audio version, then your experience will be much better than mine.
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- Barbara

Stimulating read

Any additional comments?

I found this to be one of the most interesting and challenging books I have read or listened to. Waldman poses a question that is quite relevant today in the light of the Ground Zero Muslim Center controversy. How tolerant are we willing or able to be? I found her characters to be complex and challenging. Few of them were unequivocally moral or likeable but the listener could easily relate to the dilemmas they faced. This is a story that will stick with most readers, I believe.

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- Gary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.