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Summary

An American son and his immigrant father search for belonging and reconciliation in the age of Trump.

A deeply personal novel of identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of belonging and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part satire, part picaresque, at its heart it is the story of a father and son and the country they call home.

Ranging from the heartland towns of America to palatial suites in Davos to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, Akhtar forges a narrative voice that is original as it is exuberantly entertaining. This is a world in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear and the unhealed wounds of 9/11 continue to wreak havoc.  

Homeland Elegies is a novel written in love and anger, which spares no one, least of all the author himself.

©2020 Ayad Akhtar (P)2020 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable." (Salman Rushdie) 

"Urgent, intimate...does nothing short of laying bare the broken heart of our American dream turned reality TV nightmare." (A.M. Homes)

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What listeners say about Homeland Elegies

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Amazing book.

Probably the best book I have read this year. Could not stop reading and think on the aspects of society and personality the author divulges so well.

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Wide ranging, interesting and informative

This was really enjoyable. I found it thoughtful and insightful and I couldn't wait to get back to it.

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Amazing book

Amazing narration by the author. This book touches on so many current themes in American life, such as capitalism, the health system, everyday racism, college debt, etc. but does so by embedding it within different characters and dialogues. This way it can capture a lot more nuance and the dialogues feel very real and resemble some I‘ve had or have overheard. Still in some parts it feels a bit too much of an exposé of political events/views through personal interaction/dialogue where I would have wanted a bit more depth or a better connection to the authors personal life (e.g. the narrators black friend who is a Hollywood agent only appears in a dialogue about anti-trust law). But overall, this was great! The father-son story was the most beautiful part of it.

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Top marks

Very sharp political critique told through the lens of a compelling blend of fiction and memoir. Beautifully read - best book I’ve read in a very long time!

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a very good read

The question and hardships of identity for non-whites in America is brought into focus and why assimilation is more than speaking the language and having a respectable job. The author however at times seems more intent on showing off his vocabulary and over exhausts descriptive narrations .

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Insightful and elegant

As a British Pakistani Muslim born and raised in the UK, the parallels and shared experiences are uncanny. Superbly written and blend of memoir / fiction

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Immigrant's insight to the American Dream

Really enjoyed the American dream from the perspective of the parents. The rose tinted glasses perspective of the author initially was quite sweet.

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Outstanding

The best book I have read this year. Engrossing and compelling. Sadly much too short.