by Amy Waldman
3.8 46


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Submission by Amy Waldman

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780434019335
Publisher: Random House Export
Publication date: 08/28/2011

About the Author

Amy Waldman was co-chief of the South Asia bureau of The New York Times. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic and the Boston Review and is anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010. She lives with her family in Brooklyn. The Submission is her first novel.

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The Submission 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A unique way of re-examining the events following 9/11 through the eyes of a variety of people affected by this tragedy. Stereotypes do us a disservice - this novel reveals real people behind the labels.
chloesmomst More than 1 year ago
This book is set ten years after 9/11. A jury in Manhattan has been assigned the task of selecting a memorial for the victims of the 9/11 attack. Sometimes while reading this book, I felt as though the characters were so real, I should be able to google them and find out more about them. Amy Waldman develops the characters in a heart wrenching and real manner. The conflict of the beautiful submission of an Islamic architect and the jury is only one small conflict. There are conflicts within the families of the victims, between the victim families and within the City of New York. The submission process is questioned, the validity of the jury is questioned, and the strength of American foundation is put to the test. Politicians and journalists cloud the process. This book shows the struggles of people, fighting for their ideals under the urgent quetion of how to remember a national tragedy. This would be a wonderful book club selection.
TangoYankee More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent novel highlighting cultural and religious differences. In a country, and at a time, where many want to impose their own values on different societies, this book improves understanding and shows how unwise and futile those efforts will be. The only negative that I perceived is the author's propensity to use words that require looking up in a dictionary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
elephantLP More than 1 year ago
Well written, compelling story. On target with the crazies in this country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is worth the read. There are a lot of interesting characters and the best and worst of human behavior definitely comes out. I shifted from loving certain characters to despising them by the end. Fascinating and well-written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Couldn't put it down
deannanel More than 1 year ago
In this thoughtful book, the author tackles a topic that is very important and came to an ugly head while she was probably in the process of writing the book. It certainly makes us think about what kind of a country we want to be and if we can ever get beyond the individual fiefdoms that rule our existence these days and work together as a united people. It would be a great book club book. Lots of discussion value.
LisaWLW More than 1 year ago
This book was very good. I'm wondering still what choice I would make!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book I will have to read again...feel like I missed some points along the way...a fascinating read...
Wilburzmom More than 1 year ago
This would be a great book for book clubs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read with complex characters.
kweenbea More than 1 year ago
Such a compelling story. Definitely opens up a new perspective and once again reminds me that every action creates a reaction. Just a fantastic book
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JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
It’s somewhat difficult to review *The Submission* as a novel, since it quite deftly eludes classification as any specific type of currently popular genre. It certainly doesn’t fit under the heading of political thrillers or epic tales, yet it certainly would fit right into any category that might be considered tangential to either of those well-established genres. What we have here, you see, is a good old-fashioned Novel of Ideas, almost an allegory, in which just about every character represents a distinct philosophy or ideology or point of view about A Very Important Event. In this case, that event happens to be the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001 and the subsequent effort to create a fitting memorial to the event. Waldman does not miss an angle here—she considers everything from the sentiments of the victims’ families to the democratic process of selecting a design to our current (or is it longstanding?) cultural obsession for memorializing everything to the need to honor and respect diversity—and the likely impossibility of balancing all of these elements to the satisfaction of all involved. On these counts, Waldman succeeds brilliantly. Her story demonstrates her profound understanding of the issues involved in this story. But she doesn’t quite hit the mark when it comes to creating and developing strong characters. If you’re willing to sacrifice character development for nuanced themes, you’ll probably enjoy this book just a bit more than I did. For my tastes, I had hoped for more thoroughly three-dimensional characters to carry this thorny plot along.
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