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Entertainment Weekly's Favorite Novel of 2011
Esquire's 2011 Book of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011
One of NPR's 10 Best Novels of 2011
Ten years after 9/11, a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel reimagines its aftermath
A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner's name—and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country's.
The memorial's designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, she finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself—as unknowable as he is gifted. In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.
In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman's cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure their perspectives. A striking portrait of a fractured city striving to make itself whole, The Submission is a piercing and resonant novel by an important new talent.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Great characters and absorbing plot twists.
What would you do? The author takes you so artfully "within" each character, each questioning themselves on so many levels!
Terrific read!!! Thought provoking! Stays with you!!!
Capturing the Aftermath of National Tragedy
The Submission is a brilliantly conceived novel that examines how political, social, and personal forces can tear a society apart in the wake of tragedy. Walden's understanding of human nature, ambition, pride and sadness propel the reader through an emotional visceral juggernaut. I have rarely been so emotionally effected by a novel. Walden captures perfectly how tragedy is manipulated, how fear is used to destroy rather than build and how personal ambitions can be obstacles to the greater good of society.