The Submission

Waldman, Amy, 1969-

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Submission
"When a Muslim architect wins a blind contest to design a Ground Zero Memorial, a city of eleven million people takes notice. Waldman, a former bureau chief for the New York Times, explores a diversity of viewpoints around this fictional event, bringing in politicians, businessmen, journalists, activists, and normal people whose lives--whether by happenstance, choice, or even due to their country of origin--get caught up in the controversy. Incredibly, she manages to keep all the balls in the air without ever fumbling. The story is moving and keeps the pages turning, but there are also bigger themes at work: of individuals versus groups; about the purpose of art, commerce, government, and journalism in society; of how people respond to grief and terror. The result is honest, compelling, and breathtaking."--Chris Schluep, Amazon Best Book of the Month

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374271565
Branch Call Number: FIC W
Characteristics: 299 p. ; 24 cm.


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Apr 30, 2014

An excellently written and powerful book about America, post 9/11.

Aug 19, 2013
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This novel reflects the contradictions of the US and the conflicted responses to 9/11. In the end, Waldman has a positive perspective on the future. The author was at the Ottawa Writers' Festival shortly after the book was published and was impressive in her presentation of her book.

Aug 02, 2013
  • oO_Oo rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I got about 10 pages into this before I realized I read it already. It was pretty unmemorable. The characters are flat and unlikeable, the writing is stiff and the dialogue is wooden.

Mar 20, 2013
  • jeanner222 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

It has been two years since the terrorist attack on 9/11. A jure debates the merits of two memorials submitted to the contest; one of these will be erected to memorialize those lost on 9/11. The jury member who represents the families who lost loved ones in the attack is strident in her defense of a garden memorial. She convinces other jurors to vote for the design. And when the garden design is determined to be the winning design, the name of the submission’s architect is revealed: Mohammad Khan.

Can Americans/New Yorkers accept and embrace a 9/11 memorial designed by a man with a Muslim name? Even if he is an American? Can an American with such a name be treated in post-9/11 America?

People from all sides of the issue will weigh in on the memorial and its architect. Obviously, there will be controversy.

This novel received a lot of hype, but I’m just not impressed by it. I guess the plot could have been interesting, if it had not been so obvious. The characters are one-dimensional, and I just could not force myself to care about them.

Aug 26, 2012

June Library book group selection.

Jul 31, 2012
  • sldoug rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Vvery well written and described with great accuracy what might have happened had this scenario (a Muslim wins a contest to design the September 11 World Trade Center memorial) actually played out, but the characters were fairly flat, which made it hard to really get into the book. Still, it was an enjoyable read and, in case anyone is looking, one particularly well suited to book clubs. I definitely wouldn't mind having people to discuss this one with.

Jul 29, 2012
  • mcschroeder rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Well-written, good character development, and good plot. I got a bit bogged down in the morass of the prejudices, processes, egos, stereotypes and politics. I ended up skimming the second half. The rest of my book club was far more positive.

Jul 25, 2012
  • ReadingOntheBus rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

While it started a bit slower than other things I have been reading lately, after a bit I found myself engrossed. A thought provoking book about the prejudices and stereotypes we possess that we may not wish to acknowledge. A great read.

Jul 20, 2012
  • readmorewatchless rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting perspective on the 911 tragedy and what could have happened. Racially charged, interesting and worth a read. I agree with valency_sterling...good but not great.

Jul 09, 2012
  • valency_sterling rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A good book, but shy of "very good" or "great." Even with the twist of events and such, the material didn't feel especially compelling or new. It could definitely generate a lot of discussion and be good for book clubs, but there was some certain spark missing.

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Waldman, Amy, 1969-
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