By Ayad Akhtar
American Dervish is a family drama about a young American from an imigrant family. This best selling book has recently be released in trade paperback. Here is a brief description,
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.
American Dervish is an interesting look at the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and has a lot of insight into what it is like growing up Muslim in America. This book would be excellent for a book discussion group, and here is Reading Group Guide to use as a guide. Thanks to Hachette Books I have 3 copies of the trade paperback and one audio book to giveaway to readers. Enter in the Rafflecopter form below, open to US and Canada.