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The Submission by Amy Waldman
In The Submission, a jury in New York chooses the winning design for a 9/11 memorial without knowing the architects behind each submission. The winning architect is Mohammad "Mo" Khan, an American Muslin of Indian descent. When the press and politicians learn a Muslim is behind the winning design, they fan the flames of hysteria. Mo is talented and brilliant, but stubborn and arrogant. Claire Burwell is a 9/11 widow on the jury, and initially she's one of Mo's staunchest defenders. She comes under pressure from other people who lost loved ones in the terror attacks to change her mind. Amy Waldman's debut novel has received mostly positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Indeed, it is Ms. Waldman's ability to depict their grief and anger - as well as Mo's dream of creating a beautiful memorial, and his subsequent disillusion - that lends this novel its extraordinary emotional ballast, and that reminds us how inextricably linked the personal and the political, the private and the public have become in our post-9/11 world."