Photo of Ayad Akhtar

Ten Evenings

Ayad Akhtar

“A day spent reading is not a great day. But a life spent reading is a wonderful life.”

Ayad Akhtar, Homeland Elegies

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced, comes Homeland Elegies blending fact and fiction to tell the story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made—of an immigrant father, an American son, and the country they both call home.

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies is part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel.
Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation’s unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one—least of all himself—in the process.

Ayad Akhtar is a playwright, novelist, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award for Literature. He is the author of American Dervish, published in more than twenty languages and named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012. As a playwright, he has written Junk, DisgracedThe Who & The What, and The Invisible Hand. He is the board president of PEN/America.

More about Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar’s Website

The New Yorker, September 14, 2020

An American Writer for an Age of Division

Tin House’s Between the Covers Podcast, October 2020

Ayad Akhtar : Homeland Elegies

NPR’s Morning Edition, September 14, 2020

It’s Real, It’s Fiction, It’s A Paradox: Ayad Akhtar On His ‘Homeland Elegies’

“With Homeland Elegies, Ayad Akhtar has found the perfect hybrid form for his exuberant, insightful, and wickedly entertaining epic about Muslim immigrants and their American-born children. A deeply moving father-and-son story unfolds against tumultuous current events in a book that anyone wanting to know how we as a nation got where we are today — and into what dark wood we might be heading tomorrow — should read.”

Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend


Homeland Elegies is available from White Whale Bookstore.

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar book cover


Monday, February 21, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET


At this time, all in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated or present a recent negative COVID-19 test. Masks must be worn by everyone for the duration of their visit. You will need to bring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, photo ID, and mask. Find detailed entry requirements at


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The video link for the livestreamed event will be emailed to all ticket holders on the day of the lecture. The captioned video will be available to view for one week, expiring on February 28, 2022.
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Carnegie Music Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Anna Monardo

MAY 23

Liann Tsoukas and Rob Ruck

JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30