Money and War -- An American Conversation

Feb 17, 2021, 5:00 pm6:00 pm
Zoom Webinar
Free and open to the public



Event Description

We invite you to a conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar, renowned historian of India Faisal Devji, and novelist and scholar Sadia Abbas. The speakers will consider Akhtar’s celebrated new novel, Homeland Elegies, as a new kind of American novel, neither diasporic nor postcolonial, a 9/11 novel without being about 9/11, and a major work of fiction about the Trump presidency and its prehistory.

Homeland Elegies, which The Washington Post called “a tour de force” and The New York Times selected as a Top 10 Book of 2020, calling it “pitch-perfect…virtuosic.”, is the story of an American son and his immigrant father’s search for reunion and belonging in Trump’s America. A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, this novel blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one — least of all himself — in the process.

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for the play Disgraced) and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Sadia Abbas is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. Co-founder and co-editor of Ideas and Futures, Sadia’s work focuses on postcolonial literature and theory and the culture and politics of Islam in modernity. She is the author of the novel The Empty Room and of At Freedom’s Limit: Islam and the Postcolonial Predicament, an MLA first book prize winner. Faisal Devji is Professor of Indian History and Director of the Asian Studies Center at Oxford University. He is interested in Indian political thought as well as that of modern Islam. Devji’s broader concerns have to do with ethics and violence in a globalized world. The most recent of his influential books is Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea.

To view the recorded discussion click here.

Click here for the link to purchase a signed copy of Homeland Elegies. Labyrinth will be offering 10% off from February 10 - 24 with promo code “Akhtar”.

  • Labyrinth Books
  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • McCarter Theatre
  • Office of the Dean of Religious Life
  • Princeton Public Library
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Lecture Series