Published March 25, 2021

As part of the all-virtual 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book, Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies) discussed his latest novel, a deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams. Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. In conversation with Rafia Zakaria.

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“An unflinchingly honest self-portrait by a brilliant Muslim-American writer, and, beyond that, an unsparing examination of both sides of that fraught hyphenated reality. Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable.”―Salman Rushdie

“A beautiful novel about an American son and his immigrant father that has echoes of The Great Gatsby and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life… Homeland Elegies is a very American novel. It’s a lover’s quarrel with this country… it has candor and seriousness to burn.”―Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“A profound and provocative inquiry into an artist’s complex American identity.”—Kirkus Reviews

Homeland Elegies is the astonishing work of an absolutely brilliant writer. With exquisite prose and lacerating honesty, Ayad Akhtar reveals the intersections of art, finance, race, religion, academia, and empire, and in the process, shows us a troubled reflection of our country in the twenty-first century.”―Phil Klay, author of Redeployment

A Best Book of 2020 according to The New York Times * Entertainment Weekly * The Washington Post * O Magazine * Publishers Weekly * NPR * The Economist * Shelf Awareness * Library Journal * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Slate

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