BookBrowse Reviews American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

American Dervish

A Novel

By Ayad Akhtar

American Dervish
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2012,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2012,
    384 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

A debut novel about an American Muslim family struggling with faith and belonging in the pre-9/11 world.

Author Ayad Akhtar chose well when he decided to title his captivating debut novel American Dervish. Linking culture and custom, Akhtar draws on the traditional definition of the Muslim dervish - a Muslim noted for devotional exercises, bodily movements leading to a trance - while basing this modern story on the figurative use of the term - one that whirls or dances very quickly, with abandonment or compulsion. Akhtar's story of compulsive passion is a cross-cultural journey that pivots on love and spins on regrettable snap decisions.

We all face impetuous moments of choice in our lives. Whether it's the quick key-tapped send of an unwise email, the press of an ill-issued text or an impulsive blurt of secrets, our rash actions become non-retractable deeds that swiftly leave us and take on a life of their own.

Hayat Shah is an American boy loosely tied to his Pakistani past. When ...

Ayad Akhtar Listen to NPR's interview with Ayad Akhtar to find out more about his experiences growing up Muslim in the Midwest.

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

click to join

Beyond the Book:
  The Devotion of a Hafiz

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.