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Extended Audio Sample The Submission, by Amy Waldman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,994 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amy Waldman Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Claire Harwell hasn’t settled into grief; events haven’t let her. Cool, eloquent, raising two fatherless children, Claire has emerged as the most visible of the widows who became a potent political force in the aftermath of the catastrophe. 

She longs for her husband, but she has found her mission: she sits on a jury charged with selecting a fitting memorial for the victims of the attack. Of the thousands of anonymous submissions that she and her fellow jurors examine, one transfixes Claire: a garden on whose walls the names of the dead are inscribed. But when the winning envelope is opened, they find the designer is Mohammad Khan—Mo—an enigmatic Muslim-American who, it seems, feels no need to represent anyone’s beliefs except his own. 

When the design and its creator are leaked, a media firestorm erupts, and Claire finds herself trying to balance principles against emotions amid escalating tensions about the place of Islam in America. A remarkably bold and ambitious debut, The Submission is peopled with journalists, activists, mourners, and bureaucrats who struggle for advantage and fight for their ideals. In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman’s cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure individual lives from their own points of view. A striking portrait of a city—and a country—fractured by old hatreds and new struggles, The Submission is a major novel by an important new talent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A masterful debut…Waldman unspools her story with the truth-bound grit of a seasoned journalist and the elegance of a born novelist.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Addictively readable…Not unlike The Wire’s David Simon…Waldman has an eye for the less sound bite-worthy but crucial ways in which ideology and influence make their imprint on the world.”


  • “Gripping, deeply intelligent…Panoramic in scope but thrillingly light on its feet…[A] dazzling tapestry of a grieving city.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Poised and commanding…A stellar debut. Waldman’s book reflects a much-needed understanding of American paranoia in the post-9/11 world.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Waldman addresses with a refreshing frankness thorny moral questions and ethical ironies without resorting to breathless hyperbole.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A coherent, timely, and fascinating examination of a grieving America’s relationship with itself. Waldman…excels at involving the reader in vibrant dialogues in which the level of the debate is high and the consequences significant.”

    Washington Post

  • “A gorgeously written novel of ideas…The Submission is sure to generate a lot of discussion in book clubs across the land.”


  • The Submission reads as if the author had embraced Tom Wolfe’s famous call for a new social realism…and in doing so has come up with a story that has more verisimilitude, more political resonance, and way more heart than Mr. Wolfe’s own 1987 bestseller, The Bonfire of the Vanities.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, August 2011
  • A 2011 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 NPR Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Esquire Magazine Best Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2011 Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award Finalist
  • A 2011 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Diane | 2/13/2014

    " This novel started out as a strong read but fell apart for me as the story went on. There were too many unbelievable twists to the characters and it weakened the plot. The ending felt rushed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jenee Rager | 2/5/2014

    " The Submission plays on your concience surrounding the 9/11 tragedy. You want so bad to like the book, so you don't feel "un-American". However, the characters are written like cardboard cutouts, and the plot itself is thin at best. There is no explanation for why each person digs themselves into their position for the battle, and how they became the way they are. I felt as if the author just flipped through a magazine, found a few blurbs about those affected by the 9/11 tragedy and said, okay those are my characters, and you never get more than the brief paragraph of insight into what makes them tick. I am sure there will be plenty of people who like the book just because of it's subject matter, but I was not one of them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by porchreader | 1/24/2014

    " extremely interesting,weave of characters and thought-provoking situations. i doubt I would have chosen this myself but I am grateful someone else chose for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lauren Bishard | 1/20/2014

    " Great book - lots to think about regarding our treatment of Muslims in America. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Amy Waldman

Amy Waldman was co-chief of the South Asia bureau of the New York Times. Her fiction has appeared in the Atlantic and Boston Review and is anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.