New Letters
On The Air

Ayad Akhtar

Fiction, 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.

| Subject Matter: Islam, Identity, Politics, Faith | Interview Year: 2012 | Genre: Fiction, Drama | Awards: 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama |

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The Paris Review’s podcast for Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, will feature John Ashbery reading his poem “Soonest Mended,” from a 1986 New Letters on the Air program. More information and links to The Paris Review Podcast here.

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Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.