This is an in-depth composition of the Homeland Elegies Review. Homeland Elegies is a beautifully written novel by Ayad Akhtar. It falls in the genre of domestic fiction and is spread over 343 pages, which was originally published on September 8, 2020.
Many may even consider it a memoir rather than fiction. In the Novel, Ayad mentions an immigrant’s difficulties, troubles, the American dream, hate crime, and more.
About The Author
Born on October 28, 1970, Ayad Akhtar is a well-known novelist. Alongside that, he is also an American screenwriter and playwright of Pakistani heritage. He is enjoying a blissful life with his partner Annika Boras, an actor-director.
Ayad’s books besides Homeland Elegies are American Dervish and Junk: The Golden Age of Debt. He has also been honored with multiple awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, American Book Award, Obie Award for Playwriting, and others.
The protagonist of the novel Homeland Elegies is the author’s fictional character Ayad Akhtar, a Muslim. His main aim is to accommodate his culture and traditions with the American culture after the 9/11 attacks. He is also the narrator of the story.
Another character is his father, a doctor, and his mother, Fatima, who is not like his father and prefers Pakistan over American culture. Other characters with significant roles are a rich Mulsim-American Riaz, an investor and financier, and Asha, his former partner.
Summary / Synopsis
Reviewing the novel from its plot prospect, it has three segments, and each part has its group of characters. The story’s contents are spanned from the partition between India and Pakistan in the 1960s to Donald Trump’s presidency. Here’s a brief book summary below.
“Family Politics” is the first part of the story. It mainly includes a depiction of Ayad’s extended family and his friend circle.
He describes how his father is trying to keep alive his consumerist and pleasure-loving way of life which he experienced while treating Donald Trump.
Ayad also mentions his mom’s care for Sikander’s friend Latif who, despite immigrating to the US with a notion of patriotism, returns to Pakistan. The rest of this segment includes a description of Ayad’s cousins, aunts, and uncles.
“Scranton Memoirs” is the second section of the novel. It covers the events of Ayad’s bonding with Riaz. The narrator experiences an affluent lifestyle and becomes a multi-millionaire during that time.
However, he later finds it meaningless, and this period of life ends after contracting syphilis, his mother’s demise, and Trump’s political ascendancy. Furthermore, this piece also contains the story of how he was being racially profiled by a law officer and his robbing in Scranton by a mechanic.
“Pox Americana” is the final part of the novel. In it, Ayad describes his affinity with Asha, their romantic relationship, and his contraction of syphilis from her.
The ending of Asha and Ayad’s relationship and his mom’s death is also thoroughly described. The culminating part of the novel is Sikander’s trial in a Wisconsin town for dereliction of duty.
Finally, Ayad’s father decides to go to Pakistan after gambling all his money. He introduces Caroline, with whom he shares a daughter, to Ayad.
Despite rejecting his dad’s gesture at first, Ayad, later on, reconciles with him.
Like many popular books, the Homeland Elegies has multiple themes. Racism can be seen when Ayad is profiled and the troubles his fellow Muslims had to face after the 9/11 attacks. Wealth’s power is another theme in the novel, which can be seen in Riaz and Ayad’s wealthy lifestyle.
Other book themes such as debt, the sense of belonging, nostalgia, dreams, and disappointment can be seen covered in multiple sections of the novel.
Strength and Weakness
In this book, Ayad Akhtar has shown a splendid mixture of fact and fiction. It also depicts the American dream and life’s limitations and possibilities.
Even though the book may be fiction, many might go against its views and treatment of people in the US. Plus, one might find it challenging to address it as autofiction, metafiction, or non-fiction.
My Take on Homeland Elegies Review
Homeland Elegies review receives 4.2/5 from Goodreads and 4.8/5 from Barnes & Noble, Homeland Elegies portrays the difficulties an immigrant faces after reaching the US, especially if one comes from a Muslim country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If you want to know the hardships Muslims faced post 9/11 and their struggles, then this domestic fiction gives you a clear picture.
Homeland Elegies Free PDF eBook Download
Buy it on Amazon