The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to "Disgraced," by Ayad Akhtar, a moving play that depicts a successful corporate lawyer painfully forced to consider why he has for so long camouflaged his Pakistani Muslim heritage.
The Who & The What
Zarina has a bone to pick with the place of women in her Muslim faith, and she's been writing a book about the Prophet Muhammad that aims to set the record straight. When her traditional father and sister discover the manuscript, it threatens to tear her family apart.
The Invisible Hand
In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A highly successful player at a major investment bank, Nick is kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, but with no one negotiating for his release, the prisoner must take matters into his own hands. Full of questionable alliances and moral bargaining this is a chilling examination of how far we will go to survive and the consequences of the choices we make.
Born October 28, 1970, in Milwaukee, WI. Education: Brown University, B.A.; Columbia University, M.A. Studied acting under Jerzy Grotowski in Italy.
Actor and writer. Taught acting classes with Andre Gregory; starring actor in the film The War Within, 2005, and actor in the HBO film Too Big to Fail, 2011; actor in the short films Long After, 2006, and FCU: Fact Checkers Unit, 2008.
Young Documentary Filmmakers' Award, New York Documentary Center; Audience Choice Award, Independent Filmmaker Project; Programming Committee Award for Best Film, Columbia University Film Festival, 2003; Pulitzer Prize for drama, 2013, for Disgraced.
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.
American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.