Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Debut Spotlight: American Dervish

Book 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.

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.

— Publisher’s Summary

"Engaging and accessible, thoughtful without being daunting: This may be the novel that brings Muslim-American fiction into the commercial mainstream."

— Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

"The young teen's personal story about growing up in Muslim America is both particular and universal, with intense connections of faith, sorrow, tenderness, anger, betrayal, questioning, and love."

— Booklist

"American Dervish" Video Statement from Ayad Akhtar on Vimeo.


  1. Mimi Valentine 14 hours ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    This sounds like such a thoughtful book! I don't think I've ever really read a book like this before because I'm all YA fantasy & fiction, but I love the whole idea of this and I'm definitely intrigued! This is such an awesome book to spotlight -- it sounds absolutely wonderful! :) <3

    Can't wait to read it too!
    My recent post Waiting on Wednesday: Born Wicked

  2. Juju@TalesofWhimsy @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Debut Spotlight: Ameri...
    16 hours ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    Oh this sounds really good. I look forward to your review.

  3. Jenny @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Debut Spotlight: Ameri...
    17 hours ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    This is outside my usual genres but it sounds like a beautifully written and emotional story and those are always wonderful reads regardless of the genre:) Really nice review Jennifer!

  4. zibilee @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Debut Spotlight: Ameri...
    19 hours ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    I am hoping to read this one very soon, and have been hearing some very good things about it. I hope that you like it too!

  5. Jade @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Debut Spotlight: Ameri...
    19 hours ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    It sounds interesting but not like anything I'd ever pick up. I hope to read your review in the future.

  6. Jenny @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - Debut Spotlight: Ameri...
    1 day ago · 0 replies · 0 points

    I'm listening to this on audio right now and it's really good!