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American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
American Dervish begins in 1981 when Hayat Shah is 10 years old. He lives in Milwaukee with his Pakistani parents. His father is a secular Muslim, who occasionally has a taste for alcohol and other women. Hayat's world is upended when Mina, her mother's best friend from Pakistan, comes to live with them. Mina is beautiful and intelligent, and she teaches Hayat the Koran. Hayat falls under her spell, and becomes upset, for reasons he doesn't quite understand, when Mina starts dating a local man. To make matters worse, Mina's new beau is Jewish. Ayad Akhtar's debut novel has received positive reviews with the San Antonio Express-News saying, "Intelligently written, emotionally charged, American Dervish is a loss-of-innocence tale that will leave readers pondering the state of their own faith. It's early in the year, but it's likely that Akhtar's novel will be on many 2012 best-books lists, including that of the Express-News."