American Dervish: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Little, Brown, Jan 9, 2012 - Fiction - 368 pages
14 Reviews
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.

Mina is Hayat's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat's skeptical father can't deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina's side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher.

When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to act -- with devastating consequences for all those he loves most.

American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.
  

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The stereotypes are never ending. - Goodreads
I'm not going to summarize the plot. - Goodreads
Most of the writing lacks literary flair. - Goodreads

Review: American Dervish

User Review  - Laura Leaney - Goodreads

This is a tough book for me to review. Although the story is a fine one, the writing isn't artful or fresh enough for my taste. For most of the book I felt mired in stereotypes, although the ... Read full review

Review: American Dervish

User Review  - Carol - Goodreads

American Dervish by Ayad Akbar begins in 1990 with Hayat Shah reflecting on his ďaunt's ď death. She was his mother's best friend so as her mother put it, Mina was her sister of the soul instead of ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Ayad Akhtar is an American-born, first generation Pakistani-American from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds degrees in Theater from Brown University and in Directing from the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, where he won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays and was star and co-writer of The War Within, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and an International Press Academy Satellite Award for Best Picture - Drama. American Dervish is his first novel.

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