Mr. Ayad Akhtar will be in residence at Western Oregon University on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019, as part of the Jensen Lecture Series. Akhtar is a Pakistani-American, award-winning playwright and novelist.His play Junk is nominated for a 2018 Tony Award in the Best Play category, and it won the 2018 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. His play Disgraced received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and its Broadway was nominated for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.
Dr. Gavin Keulks is planning Akhtar's WOU schedule. There are opportunities for small group activities involving the speaker during the day, prior to the main address in the early evening. If you have an idea, please contact Dr. Keulks.
Arrangements for the appearance of Ayad Akhtar made through Hachette Speakers Bureau, New York, NY
Works are ordered newest first.
Want to read Akhtar's works as ebooks on your device? Links to library ebooks are below. Refer to Hamersly Library's ebook guide for instructions.
Call Number: PS3601.K53 J86 2017. Also available as an ebook
Publication Date: 2017
Set in 1985, Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin, resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell. Hailed as “America’s Alchemist,” his proclamation that “debt is an asset” has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer, Merkin intends to do the “deal of the decade,” the one that will rewrite all the rules. Working on his broadest canvas to date, Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors, threatened workers, killer lawyers, skeptical journalists, and ambitious federal prosecutors. Although it’s set 40 years in the past, this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.
In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A successful financial trader, Nick is kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, but with no one negotiating his release, he agrees to an unusual plan. He will earn his own ransom by helping his captors manipulate and master the world commodities and currency markets.
Call Number: PS3601.K53 J86 2017 Also available as an ebook
Publication Date: 2013
Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama.
New York. Today. Corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor is happy, in love, and about to land the biggest career promotion of his life. But beneath the veneer, success has come at a price. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, what starts out as a friendly conversation soon escalates into something far more damaging.
Call Number: PS3601.K48 A44 2012. Also available as an ebook
Publication Date: 2012
A young Pakistani boy, whose parents left the fundamentalists behind when they came to America, finds transformation and a path to happiness through a family friend, Mina, who shows him the beauty and power of the Quran.
Essay published in The New York Times, adapted from his speech accepting the 2017 Steinberg Playwright Award.
Also available on publisher's website (different title, and access subject to personal paywall restrictions).
Akhtar writes as introduction to the playlist:
"There isn't much music in American Dervish, at least not in the story itself. But music pervaded the writing process. And there was a version of the book that was almost twice as long, and in which characters were listening to CCR or Mehdi Hassan. But those passing references, like whole story lines that weren't serving the book, got cut. What's more, listening to music is part of my writing ritual. And I listened to no one or nothing as much as I did Beethoven. What an enormous pleasure it is to have the chance to revisit the emotional trails lost in the edit, and the hidden sources of so much of the book's inspiration."
Akhar speaking at TEDxBroadway
Resources compiled by Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon, Associate Professor, Public Services Librarian. Email me.
Media coverage of Akhtar
Videos and articles, ordered newest first within each category.
BUILD Series interview with Ricky Camilleri, November 30, 2017.
Morning Joe interview with Mika Brzezinski, February 23, 2015. Reposted by Conflict Studies channel
CBS Sunday Morning interview with Anthony Mason, January 25, 2015.
Conversation with Josh Radnor, moderated by Aasif Mandvi, January 23, 2015 Sound quality poor but improves; turn on Closed Captions..
PBS Newshour interview with Jeffrey Brown, October 30, 2014.
Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, January 17, 2012.
Morning Edition interview with Steve Inskeep, January 5, 2012
Feldman, Lucy. "Ayad Akhtar." American Voices series. Time, 190, no. 20 (November 13, 2017): 62. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. Also available on publication's website.
Articles from The New York Times:
Listed newest first. Links on article titles are to Hamersly Library's access to The New York Times through the database Business Insights: Global. Links "on publisher's website" are provided for convenience but are subject to personal paywall restrictions.