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The Submission [Format Kindle]

Amy Waldman

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Amy Waldman's THE SUBMISSION is a wrenching panoramic novel about the politics of grief in the wake of 9/11. From the aeries of municipal government and social power to the wolfpack cynicism of the press, to the everyday lives of the most invisible of illegal immigrants and all the families that were left behind, Waldman captures a wildly diverse city wrestling with itself in the face of a shared trauma like no other in its history." (Richard Price)

"With a keen and expert eye of an excellent journalist, Waldman provides telling portraits of all the drama's major players, deftly exposing their foibles and mutual; manipulations. And she has a sense of humour: the novel is punctuated with darkly comic details...[It] would seem richly satirical were it not for the fact that it so closely reflects reality. From this fertile material Waldman fashions her compelling ensemble piece...Elegantly written and tightly plotted...In these unnerving times in which Waldman has seen facts take the shape of her fiction, [this] novel, at once lucid, illuminating and entertaining is a necessary gift." (Claire Messud New York Times Book Review)

"There's nothing meek about Amy Waldman's high-powered debut...The Submission is a searching, cerebral novel with the pitch and pace of a thriller...It's as driven as its ambitious protagonists. Amy Waldman is an experienced journalist, and her biting sketches of cynical hacks and scripted shock-jocks ring true, as she scrutinises the link between art works and their creators. Acute and exhilarating." (Daily Mail)

"An absorbing, accomplished debut...Waldman [has a] feel for novelistic light and shade and an instinct for chasing down telling, surprising details...Waldman's sensitivity to the multidimensionality of the issues is matched by an observant eye for the details of social interaction...This knack for shaping scenes, along with judicious intercutting between various elements, make Waldman's novel an intelligent, satisfying read" (Sunday Times)

"Amy Waldman writes like a possessed angel. She also has the emotional smarts to write a story about Islam in America that fearlessly lasers through all our hallucinatory politics with elegant concision. This is no dull and worthy saga; it's a literary breakthrough that reads fast and breaks your heart." (Lorraine Adams)

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

The memorial's designer is Mohammad Khan, an enigmatic, ambitious architect. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, Claire finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself. 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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 916 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 322 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1446473260
  • Editeur : Cornerstone Digital (18 août 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 009952824X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099528241
  • ASIN: B005CUTPY0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°88.386 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  282 commentaires
141 internautes sur 160 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Many Faces of Grief 2 juillet 2011
Par Someone Else - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
A nation's tragedy brings out the best and the worst in its citizens. Amy Waldman places her story at the center of America's tragedy, two years after the devastation. A contest for a 9/11 memorial where the World Trade Center once stood brings to a boil all the simmering hurt and mistrust and fear about the future. What is it that causes this firestorm of media distortion and political posturing? What revelation leads to threats and accusations and even violence? Just a name. The name of the contest winner.

"Mo" is as American as can be. He's an architect, born and raised in Virginia. His immigrant parents proudly gave him the name of a beloved prophet. Never would they have imagined that a few decades later that name would become like poison to many Americans. "Mo" is Mohammad Khan. A Muslim name. Suddenly his design, "The Garden," becomes suspect, and the selection committee backpedals on its decision.

This story felt so real that it sometimes made my heart ache for my country, my world, my species. How easily we let ourselves be distracted, led away from the harmony we say we want. When the media and special interest groups push our buttons, they can make us forget why we've come together and what we hoped to accomplish. The voices of reason and reconciliation are often the most gentle and the hardest to hear amid the din of controversy.

It's challenging to give a plausible ending to a novel with real-life parallels. This book poses more questions than it answers, which is as it should be. Given the complexity of the issues, I think Waldman found a strong and believable finish. Our hope for the younger generations is powerful. Those who are too young to remember September 11, 2001 and its aftermath may be our best chance for a balanced perspective and, ultimately, for healing.
109 internautes sur 126 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 The Submission 15 juillet 2011
Par Brendan Moody - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Amy Waldman's first novel offices a scenario reminiscent of last year's Park51 debate, but with a twist that makes the issues involved even more explosive. Two years after the September 11th attacks, the New York City committee appointed to select the World Trade Center memorial design has made its selection from among hundreds of anonymous submissions. When the envelope containing the designer's name is opened, he turns out to be a Muslim named Mohammad Khan. A media leak soon leads to a massive debate about Islam, grief, and art, with Khan and his design's greatest admirer, the 9/11 widow Claire Burwell, at its center.

The evolving sequence of events Waldman, a former reporter for The New York Times, describes is plausible enough, and full of details that have the ring of truth. But the issues raised and the views expressed are so familiar from the Park51 brouhaha and other aspects of the national discourse about Islam that it's difficult to escape the feeling one has read all this before. There are no real surprises in the way things play out, and the ignorant difficulty many characters have in thinking clearly about Islam, while true to life, makes for frustrating reading. Ultimately the novel fails to offer a new or surprising perspective on Islam, the September 11th attacks, or any other relevant topic, and feels more like a journalistic variation on real events than a story with guiding themes of its own.

Nor does it illuminate the personalities involved in its fictional debate enough to generate greater understanding of those involved in actual ones. Waldman demonstrates an awareness that politicans, journalists, activists, and commentators manipulate events like this not out of any great interest in outcomes, but to further their own ends. However, their psychological processes and moral justifications (if any) remain mysterious. Only a single such journalist is included as a point-of-view character, and she is insufficiently well-drawn, appearing much nastier and less intelligent than Waldman seems to intend. Other secondary protagonists are likewise flat, their lives and dreams alluded to but never developing depth because of the forward rush of the predictable narrative.

Claire Burswell and Mo Khan are fuller characters, though Waldman's staid minimalist prose rarely allows her grief or his frustration with being a media obsession to achieve the intensity of real emotion. The novel's epilogue, freed from the ceaseless news cycle, has a grace and a forcefulness much greater than anything that has gone before. The characters have finally, if abruptly, gained wisdom, recognized the futility of their earlier behaviors. If they'd been able to make that leap a bit more quickly, The Submission would have been a stronger, more insightful novel.
51 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Elegant, intellectual, emotionally flat 28 août 2011
Par Mimijo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A cerebral and often tedious exploration of clashing religious, philosophical and aesthetic principles, centering on the choice of a 9/11 memorial from proposals submitted anonymously. The winning entry, picked by a jury of which Claire Burwell, a 9/11 widow, serves as the moral center, ignites controversy when it turns out to be the product of a Muslim-American architect. Much intellectualizing is expended on the question of whether his memorial is a stealthy attempt to enshrine an Muslim victory on the site of a conquered people with his Islamic-inspired design which some see as "a garden of [Muslim] martyrs." He, Mohammad Khan, coldly and proudly refuses to explain himself or refute the accusations levied against him. A purist, he demands that his work stand on its own and his vision remain uncompromised by the client's wishes.

The central problem with the novel is its lack of believable emotion. I never got a full sense of Claire Burwell's husband as a vivid, particular character; thus I could not share her grief or that of her children. The real moral center of the novel is Asma Anwar, a Bangladeshi illegal immigrant whose husband, Inam, also died in the towers on 9/11. Her tragedy as it plays out is affecting but not deeply moving because even she is treated at a remove in this novel that is much more preoccupied with ideas than characters. Waldman often veers into stereotypes: the unscrupulous NY Post reporter, the muddle-minded, failure-haunted brother of a firefighter who died on 9/11,the anti-Islam-agitator housewife, and the Rush Limbaugh-like talk show shock jock. Even Claire and the late Cal Burwell come across as stereotypes: impeccably tasteful, emotionally repressed, hyperprivileged WASPs.

Overall, admirable for its literary elegance, but ultimately cold, overly intellectual and unsatisfying.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It's probably not healthy to get this worked up over fiction 16 janvier 2012
Par Susan Tunis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Two years after an unnamed terrorist attack on New York, a jury has convened to choose a suitable memorial for the victims. The jury is comprised of artists, politicos, historians, a representative of the families who lost loved ones, clergy, and so forth. After reviewing and debating 5,000 anonymous designs, they have finally arrived at a selection. With excitement, they open the sealed envelope to see who the winning designer/architect is. His name is Mohammed Khan, an American citizen born and raised in Virginia. Cue the firestorm.

This debut novel was written by a former NYT bureau chief. Ms. Waldman provides intense scrutiny of America's attitudes towards terrorism, Muslims, immigrants, and prejudice from every imaginable angle and viewpoint, and her unflattering perceptions are painfully on target. As much as I wanted there to be a good guy in this tale, nobody comes out a winner.

The Submission is a hugely thought provoking read. (It would be terrific fodder for a serious book group.) Months after reading it, I'm still angry about the behavior of fictional Americans in an entirely fictional scenario. Waldman's got our number. Her depiction of what would happen given the premise above strode perfectly the boundary between reality and satire. And it was that subtle satirical edge, perhaps, that made the story all the more believable. Who hasn't turned on CNN and thought, "This can't possibly be happening?"

This is a novel entirely about America in the wake of 9/11, without ever once using the phrase "9/11." I actually read it on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy as my own small memorial to the memory of those lost. What it really reminded me of, however, is how much our society has lost in the decade since those terrible, terrible events. This book absolutely infuriated me, and I am confident it will stick with me for a very long time. And that is why it made my best books of the year list.
13 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Submission To Our Deepest Fears 29 août 2011
Par Jill I. Shtulman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Ten years have gone by since the Twin Towers came down on 9/11, and through those years, a wide array of talented fiction writers have attempted to make sense of that pivotal experience: Lynn Sharon Schwartz, John Updike, Jonathan Safron Foer, Claire Messud, to name just a few.

The brilliance of Amy Waldman's book is that she does not try to apply logic to why 9/11 occurred, nor does she attempt to recreate the complex and traumatic emotions that most Americans felt that day. Instead, she explores something broader: the fallout of a country confused, divided, and sick with fear, clamoring to make sense of the insensible.

The book begins with an ambiguous title: The Submission. On a concrete level, the submission refers to anonymous submissions by architects - in the best democratic tradition - who vie for the right to build an enduring memorial to Ground Zero. But read those words again, and the meaning is far deeper. Is Waldman referring to the submission of Muslims to Qur'an law, forcing them into outsider positions? Or is she writing of the submission of too many Americans to their deepest fears?

A little of all three interpretations exist, but it becomes increasingly evident that it is the latter that Amy Waldman is most interested in. The skeleton of the story is this: the winner of the submission is an American Muslim, Mohammad Khan, whose true religion is his vaulting ambition. (At a later point, Mo's lover will say to him, "Now I see that it was about you: your design, your reputation, your place in history.") Raised in the United States since birth, Mo (as he is universally called) has barely set foot in a mosque his entire life. His design - a garden - is comforting and soothing, particularly to the sole member of the selection jury who is also the widow of a 9/11 victim.

Once Mo's identity is leaked at the winner, the fervor begins. He is called, among other things, "decadent, abstinent, deviant, violent, insolent, abhorrent, aberrant, and typical." Amy Waldman, the former bureau chief of the New York Times, knows this territory intimately: the ambitious reporter who will do anything for a scoop (including defecting to the New York Post, which traffics in sensationalism), the equally ambitious governor who strives for reelection while inflaming public sentiment, the radio talk show host who plays into his audience's prejudices. Before too long, the garden is being depicted as an "Islamic victory garden", Mo is being called by his full name, and his loyalty to the U.S. is being questioned on all fronts.

Amy Waldman characters are nearly always fully realized: whether she's writing about Mo, Claire - the wealthy widow and key juror on the selection committee - or a seemingly bit player who is propelled to center stage, the Bangladeshi widow Asma, whose husband, an illegal immigrant, worked as a janitor and was killed in the attack.

Although the author's point of view is not hard to discern, to her credit, she reveals all sides and that is never clearer than during the scene when the public weighs in about the design. The question becomes: "What history do you want to write with this memorial?" Every side is represented, from the professor of Middle Eastern studies who states, "...Achieving that paradise through martyrdom - murder suicide - has become the obsession of Islamic extremists, the ultimate submission to God: to the author on Islamic gardens who asks, "Since when did we become so afraid of learning from other cultures?"

The pretentious artistic debates...the cynical political showboating...the tactical moves of special-interest groups...the media that fuels rumors rather than reports news - all are depicted here. My 5-star rating does not imply this is a literary masterpiece; it is, however, a well-written, thought-provoking, and nuanced book that will appeal to many different kinds of readers. With all the posturing, the truth is often found in just letting go. Or, as Mo eventually discovers, "He had forgotten himself, and this was the truest submission."
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