Ayad AkhtarFiction, Drama
Interviewed by: Angela Elam
Catalog Number: 20120831, 20130426
Born to Pakistani parents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ayad Akhtar grew up in a secular home, but like the protagonist of his 2012 debut novel, American Dervish, he became a devout Muslim as a child. He discusses how his evolving relationship with Islam influences his writing, which often features Western-born Muslims struggling with issues of identity, politics, and faith. Akhtar also debuted two plays in 2012, including Disgraced, which is now the 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Drama. He describes how writing for the stage and screen prepared him to write his novel.
We go to the archives to revisit a program that examines important African-American writers, beginning with the 18th century's Phyllis Wheatley and concluding with former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. This show also features the late Margaret Walk...
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