The Submission by Amy Waldman
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Amy Waldman

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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. This is her first novel.
 
Published August 16, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 322 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Submission

Kirkus Reviews

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The selection of a Muslim architect for a 9/11 memorial stirs a media circus in Waldman's poised and commanding debut novel.

Jul 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The New York Times

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“The Submission,” the debut novel by Amy Waldman, tackles the aftermath of a terrorist attack similar to 9/11.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The New York Times

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Amy Waldman’s new novel concerns the controversy surrounding the choice of a Muslim to design a 9/11 memorial.

Aug 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Guardian

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What, if anything, would you do differently if you were starting the book again?Think more before I started writing, about voice, style, character and structure.

Jul 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Guardian

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Rather like Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap, Amy Waldman's The Submission (longlisted for this year's Guardian first book award) is a novel motored by a single incident whose consequences fan outwards and end up engulfing an entire community.

Sep 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Guardian

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Rather like Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap, Amy Waldman's The Submission (longlisted for this year's Guardian first book award) is a novel motored by a single incident whose consequences fan outwards and end up engulfing an entire community.

Sep 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Guardian

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What, if anything, would you do differently if you were starting the book again?Think more before I started writing, about voice, style, character and structure.

Jul 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Guardian

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The grief surrounding 9/11 – the forms it takes, the claims it makes, the claims made in its name by third parties, the hierarchy which surrounds it (not all griefs are equal), the guilt and anger which are born from it, the gulf between the silence of private grief and the clamour of public grie...

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Waldman imagines a toxic brew of bigotry in conflict with idealism in this frighteningly plausible and tightly wound account of what might happen if a Muslim architect had won a contest to design a me

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

NPR

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Reviewer Maureen Corrigan says Amy Waldman's debut novel might be the Sept. 11 novel — the one that finally does justice, artistically and historically, to the aftershocks of that day.

Sep 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Kirkus Reviews

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In her debut novel The Submission, former New York Times reporter Amy Waldman writes about an American Muslim architect whose winning design for a 9/11 memorial sparks controversy in a community already divided by grief, prejudice and fear.

Aug 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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“The Submission is a brave novel. An unflinchingly honest novel. It is social reportage but also a piece of authentic art in its own right. It manages to be at once a highly discursive text, but at the same time one that is full of compassion and authentic conscience.”

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Star Tribune

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Waldman's characters are realistic, not stereotypical. Her novel is both a critique of the media as well as an intelligent look at a thorny problem.

Aug 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

AV Club

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The realistic but overly straightforward first novel from a New York Times vet asks what would happen if a Muslim architect won a blind competition to design a 9/11 memorial.

Aug 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

AV Club

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What if the commission to design the World Trade Center memorial had been given to a Muslim architect?

Aug 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Or as one dismayed committee member exclaims behind the doors of Gracie Mansion, ''It's a goddamn Muslim!''.

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Washington Post

SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Washington Post

Coming to prominence in 2003 with Frederic Beigbeder’s “ Windows on the World ,” by 2005 the form had evolved through the twin strands of Jonathan Safran Foer ’s urgent and heartfelt “ Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close ” and Ian McEwan ’s universalized and reflective “ Saturday .” By 2006,...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The Independent

When Asma, a Bangladeshi woman whose husband died in the Towers, speaks out in Mohammed's defence, public opinion seems shift until the press discovers that she is an illegal immigrant, yet another instance of a Muslim invasion.

Sep 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The complaints proved groundless, but they reflected a pervasive national distrust of the Muslim faith as well as individual Muslims that blossomed after Sept.

Aug 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Somerset County police chief suspended after photo surfaces Penguins drop second consecutive game on road Paramedics reject contract, will not strike Ricky Smyrnes sentenced to death by Westmoreland jury Gov. Corbett signs tw...

Aug 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Oregon Live

The most obvious villain of the story is an unethical, desperately self-seeking reporter named Alyssa Spiers, who leaves the Daily News for The New York Post when it won't run her early scoop on the "Mystery Muslim."

Sep 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Review (Barnes & Noble)

But just as the fight over a memorial seems poised to eclipse the act of remembering, Waldman leaves her opening questions hovering in the potently absent air: Does a memorial need to recreate hurt on its way toward healing?

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Denver Post

In addition to Mo, we come to know Claire, a juror on the committee to select the memorial design, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center.

Aug 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

http://skrishnasbooks.com

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Apr 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The National

Amid a faithful simulation of the city getting hot under the collar about Muslims all over again - scurrilous Post headlines, right-on parties with Rosie O'Donnell and Sean Penn, stern New Yorker editorials that strike Mo "like being called shifty by a roomful of people he had thought were his fr...

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

The New Yorker

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Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Lit Lovers

Waldman has created a choral novel with a big historical backdrop and pointillist emotional detail, a novel that gives the reader a visceral understanding of how New York City and the country at large reacted to 9/11, and how that terrible day affected some Americans' attitudes toward Muslims and...

Oct 04 2014 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Of Books and Reading

For instance, Mo’s submission or not to the decisions made, Claire’s submission to some members of the jury and most of all, the submission of public to fear or not.

May 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

New York Magazine

In the last pages of the novel, a documentary filmmaker asks Mohammad Khan to interpret some lines from the Koran etched into a new version of his garden, and Khan instructs us: “Use your imagination.”.

Jul 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Arts Fuse

The Submission has been compared to Richard Price’s richly evocative novels of New York life.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Full Stop

Waldman’s book is rich with potential, but it often seems as though she has too much material and isn’t sure what to with it.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Caribous Mom

I have yet to read any of Waldman’s books but I read a magazine essay/articl she wrote and I really liked her writing style.

May 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

For Books' Sake

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Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

https://www.bookbrowse.com

The selection committee - a jury of thirteen people - included architects (for example, Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC), artists, political representatives, curators, ...

Oct 04 2014 | Read Full Review of The Submission: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Submission
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 518 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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