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Growing up as a first generation Pakistani-American in the suburbs of Wisconsin was, at best, unusual circumstance for a young boy. Hayat Shah's life brightens when his mother's best friend, Mina, shows up from Pakistan to rebuild her life after a vicious divorce back in her homeland. Beautiful, brilliant, and devout, Mina teaches the eleven-year old Hayat about his Islamic faith, opening him up to a way of life that seems, to him, as wondrous as Mina herself. But when Mina falls in love with Hayat's father best friend, Nathan Wolff, a local Jewish intellectual and doctor, problems ensue. The local Muslim-American community's anti-Semitism blends and incubates Hayat's jealousy about losing Mina, driving a dramatic rift through the Shah household.
Set in the 1980s, AMERICAN DERVISH chronicles young Hayat's journey deep into the Islamic faith, and the damage his journey inflicts on the one person he loves more than anyone, Mina.
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Emilie Frèche, lauréate du Prix Orange du Livre 2013 pour "Deux étrangers"