A stirring and explosive debut novel about an American Muslim family's struggle with faith and belonging.
Hayat Shah was captivated by Mina long before he met her: his mother's beautiful, brilliant friend is a family legend. When he learns that Mina is leaving Pakistan to live with the Shahs in America, Hayat is thrilled.
Hayat's father is less enthusiastic. Ever wary of fundamentalism, he doesn't relish the idea of Mina's fervid devotion under his roof. What no one expects is that when Mina shows Hayat the beauty of the Quran, it will utterly transform him.
Mina's real magic may be that the Shah household becomes a happy one. But when Mina catches the eye of a Jewish doctor and family friend, Hayat's jealousy is inflamed by the community's anti-Semitism - and he acts with catastrophic consequences for those he loves most.
Ayad Akhtar is a screenwriter, playwright, actor, and novelist. He is the author of a novel, American Dervish, and was nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay for the film The War Within. His plays include Disgraced, produced at New York's Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and on Broadway in 2014 and recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and The Who & The What, produced at Lincoln Center Theater in 2014. He lives in New York City.