By Anand Giridharadas
Winner of the 2015 NYPL Helen Bernstein ebook Award for Excellence in Journalism.
"Remarkable…a richly specified, affecting account…Giridharadas seeks much less to uplift than illuminate…Which of those males is the '"true American'" of the identify? that there's no basic solution to that query is Giridharadas's most interesting accomplishment." ―Ayad Akhtar, New York instances publication Review
The real American tells the tale of Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh Air strength officer who desires of immigrating to the United States and dealing in expertise. yet days after 9-11, an avowed "American terrorist" named Mark Stroman, looking revenge, walks into the Dallas minimart the place Bhuiyan has chanced on transitority paintings and shoots him, maiming and approximately killing him. different sufferers, at different fuel stations, aren’t so fortunate, loss of life right away.
The actual American lines the making of those males, Stroman and Bhuiyan, and in their fateful come upon. It follows them as they rebuild shattered lives―one striving on loss of life Row to turn into a greater guy, the opposite to heal and pull himself up from the bottom rung at the ladder of an surprising country.
Ten years after the capturing, an Islamic pilgrimage seeds in Bhuiyan a wierd notion: if he's ever to be complete, he needs to reenter Stroman's existence. He longs to confront Stroman and contact him head to head in regards to the assault that modified their lives. Bhuiyan publicly forgives Stroman, within the identify of his faith and its proposal of mercy. Then he wages a felony and public-relations crusade, opposed to the kingdom of Texas and Governor Rick Perry, to have his attacker spared from the demise penalty.
Ranging from Texas's juvenile justice method to the swirling crowd of pilgrims on the Hajj in Mecca; from a biker bar to an immigrant mosque in Dallas; from younger army cadets in Bangladesh to elite paratroopers in Israel; from a filthy rich family of chook importers in Karachi, Pakistan, to the sober apartments of Brownwood, Texas, The real American is a wealthy, colourful, profoundly relocating exploration of the yankee dream in its many dimensions. eventually it tells a narrative approximately our love-hate dating with immigrants, in regards to the come upon of Islam and the West, approximately how―or whether―we decide upon what we become.