This work reads like a memoir, but Akhtar insists it’s a novel. Homeland Elegies contains eight vignettes, each different in many ways, but all touching directly or indirectly on America’s consumerism and what it often feels like to be a Muslim here. The main character and narrator is named Ayad Akhtar, and also like the author, he is born in New York, has parents who are Muslims from Pakistan, and is a relatively famous playwright. Does Akhtar want his readers to have a difficult time distinguishing between reality and fiction? I think so.
If you are only comfortable reading a novel with a straightforward, chronological plot, this book is not for you. However, if you appreciate an unorthodox work of fiction with outstanding writing that puts its reader in the shoes of a Muslim living in this country for the past nineteen years, read Homeland Elegies.