American Dervish is about the collision of cultures, identity and religion in 1980s America.
There are themes here reminiscent of The Go-Between by L.P.Hartley and Ian McEwan's more recent Atonement, of a life scarred by chame at a childish act that has catastrophic consequences in adult life.
Ayad Akhtar's first novel is deftly plotted, with a frame narrative that shows how Hayat's sense of shame pursues him into adulthood. There are shades of Ian McEwan's Atonement, but Akhtar's writing has a crisp, imagistic quality all its own.
his dialogue is free-flowing and natural, and he has a good eye for small visual details within a scene that colour the mood of the action around them.
Both extremists and the ambivalent are accorded even-handed coverage and the characterisation is strong
A terrific first novel, warm and wise.
this book is prescient and timely in both recognising and dramatically exploring this increasingly unbreachable social divide.
a pleasing read
American Dervish is an extraordinary novel and one you certainly won't regret reading
Akhtar proves the capacity of the great American stories to be endlessly renewed by each generation of writers