Ayad Akhtar examines the soul of America through his own family's story in Homeland Elegies
Ayad Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his provocative play Disgraced, described as "a combustible powder keg of identity politics." He's also tackled themes of race and culture through fiction: his first novel, American Dervish, about a young Pakistani-American boy growing up in the Midwest, and his powerful, prize-winning 2020 novel, Homeland Elegies. Frankly autobiographical, Homeland Elegies explores the idea of the "American dream" through the experience of Akhtar's parents and his own dual identity as a Muslim American following the 9/11 attacks. *This episode originally aired Oct. 25, 2020.