The New York Institute for the Humanities will host “Disgraced” playwright Ayad Akhtar and Rabih Alameddine, author of “An Unnecessary Woman,” for a conversation moderated by writer Amitava Kumar on Mon., Nov. 17.
Akhtar, Alameddine, and Kumar will discuss the artistic process; issues of identity and assimilation for Muslims in the U.S.; and the politicization of culture and religion in a post-9/11 world.
Akhtar, author of the “American Dervish,” received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for “Disgraced,” which recently opened on Broadway. His play The Invisible Hand--about an American banker kidnapped by Islamic militants in Pakistan and the disturbing moral predicaments that ensue—will have its New York premiere on November 19 at the New York Theatre Workshop.
Alameddine is the author of multiple books including “Koolaids; I, the Divine,” “The Hakawati,” and, most recently, “An Unnecessary Woman,” which tells the story of an aging introverted woman in Beirut who finds solace in her collection of books as she goes through a life-review that explores the history of Beirut. The novel is a 2014 National Book Award Fiction Finalist.
Kumar, a professor of English at Vassar College, is the author of “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb,” which looks at representations of terrorism in culture and art post-9/11 and the trial of various accused terrorists. He is also the author of “A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna,” among other books.
The discussion is free and open to the public, but photo ID is required. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 212.998.2101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reporters wishing to attend the event must RSVP to Stephanie Steiker at email@example.com. Subways: 6 (Astor Place); N, R (8th St.-NYU); F (2nd Ave).