Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar [9/10]

Redolent of the autofiction of Karl Ove Knausgaard, ”Homeland Elegies” is a stunning work about the author’s experience of being a Muslim in the United States, including experiences as an author striving to find what to say. Akhtar is fully frank about his father’s fascinating life after emigrating from Pakistan, including a brief stint as Trump’s cardiologist, about his conflicted feelings about his m,other; about his riveting short-term patronage by a Muslim New York hedge fund operator; about his sexuality; about the seemingly never-ending tribulations of American Muslims after 9/11. But it’s not the frankness that rivets the reader, it’s the nimble, evocative writing style and the piercing evocation of amazing scenes. Homeland Elegies dissects the existential aspects of being a Pakistani, being a Muslim, but, especially, being an American. A tour de force that, somehow, reinvents the modern memoir.

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