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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: January 2012 ISBN: 9781482982213
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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.”

    Vogue

  • “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.”

    NPR

  • 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 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 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 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 Lauren Bishard | 1/20/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah Fisher | 1/12/2014

    " Excellent book about a blind contest to create a 9/11 Memorial. A Muslim wins, having the best design, and the books moves pretty quickly into the fallout after it leaks to the press that the winner was Muslim. Really good book that presents all sides, and very realistically detailed characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stefanie | 1/3/2014

    " Very interesting book on what could have happened after September 11th. Definitely makes you think and understand both sides of the controversy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Nagler | 12/9/2013

    " Just go read this book already "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 12/5/2013

    " A good look into the lives of many different people with different viewpoints of the 9/11 tragedy. I was shocked by the response of some, disgusted by the response of others, and deeply saddened by the general realization that this event in our history really did tear a country apart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michaela | 4/20/2013

    " Beautiful depiction of how post-9/11 we all lose. This lack of reconciliation continues to play out in current politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/13/2013

    " It was a pretty good book. It was all about choosing a designer to construct the memorial at the WTC after 9/11. I read this book because it was one of the Library's Readers Choice books, since I have a goal to read at least 3 or 4 of them before the time period is over. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 3/2/2013

    " Did not hold my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Loreldonaghey Donaghey | 2/12/2013

    " I've added this to my all time favorites and it's a very short list. I started to wait and read it again, but I'm sure. Excellent. Thought provoking. Fiction is my favorite way to explore a complex non-fiction issue. LOVED IT. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 9/11/2012

    " I really liked the plot of this book, it really makes you think how we treat people in this country. My only gripe is that I really didn't connect with any of the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sonrisa | 8/22/2012

    " I'm struggling with this book, but being that it's highly rated and listed as one of the top best books in 2011, I'll do my best to stick it out! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 8/6/2012

    " Worth reading but left a sour taste in my mouth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Kirtley | 6/23/2012

    " Lots to talk about in this book, good pick for a book club. Frankly I just didn't enjoy reading. Very few redeeming characters just to disappointing to read about them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kris | 6/9/2012

    " Fantastic book. Beautifully written and thought provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie R | 3/3/2012

    " I found it interesting, but it should have ended without the last chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 3/2/2012

    " A reimagining of what could have happened if a Muslim won an open competition to design the Ground Zero memorial. Smart about the architecture world - but also hellaciously good on post-9/11 New York, immigration and identity. And What America Is and Ought to Be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 11/6/2011

    " WOW - very powerful - excellent "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 11/4/2011

    " Bonfire of the vanities with heart...extraordinary feel for the politics and emotions in NYC after 9/11 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jpread | 11/2/2011

    "
    I really liked this book. It was engaging and thought provoking. The characters were complex and not predictable. A lot to think about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 11/1/2011

    " This book was not a quick read for me. It was hard to get through because of how probable the story is. Well worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 11/1/2011

    " Provocative with expertly drawn characters. You should read this book.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 11/1/2011

    " I really like this book. It is an important read for our time. At first I couldn't stand the writing...but then I realized it was just outside of my comfort zone & I grew to like it, even be influenced by it.

    I am dying for someone I know to read it so we can discuss!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 10/28/2011

    " Outstanding. Powerful. It makes you look inside at your own experiences and yes, your own prejudices.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 10/27/2011

    " Probably closer to a 3.5. Very interesting, nuanced look at contemporary politics w/r/t race, religion, terrorism, and class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/23/2011

    " Couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. A masterful work - thought provoking and not easy. Highly recommend. "

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