Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies) discusses his latest novel, a deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams. Homeland Elegies 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.

As part of the all-virtual 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book, this event is FREE to attend and open to the public. To attend, please register below or simply make plans to watch on Facebook.com/VaBookFest. The video recording from this event will also be available to watch after the event concludes, on VaBook.org/Watch.

Thanks to our bookseller for this event, New Dominion Bookshop.

“An unflinchingly honest self-portrait by a brilliant Muslim-American writer, and, beyond that, an unsparing examination of both sides of that fraught hyphenated reality. Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable.”―Salman Rushdie

“A beautiful novel about an American son and his immigrant father that has echoes of The Great Gatsby and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life… Homeland Elegies is a very American novel. It’s a lover’s quarrel with this country… it has candor and seriousness to burn.”―Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“A profound and provocative inquiry into an artist’s complex American identity.”—Kirkus Reviews

Homeland Elegies is the astonishing work of an absolutely brilliant writer. With exquisite prose and lacerating honesty, Ayad Akhtar reveals the intersections of art, finance, race, religion, academia, and empire, and in the process, shows us a troubled reflection of our country in the twenty-first century.”―Phil Klay, author of Redeployment

A Best Book of 2020 according to The New York Times * Entertainment Weekly * The Washington Post * O Magazine * Publishers Weekly * NPR * The Economist * Shelf Awareness * Library Journal * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Slate

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