Amy Waldman, a former reporter for The New York Times, discusses her bestselling novel The Submission, which tells the fictional tale of Mohammad “Mo” Khan, a secular Muslim who wins a competition to design a memorial honoring the victims of a terrorist attack similar to 9/11. When the jury members discover who’ve they’ve selected, some try to change the result. But the decision is leaked to the press, resulting in outrage not over the selection of Khan, but over his entry, which includes a garden some think is an Islamic design to honor martyrs.
The outcry is reminiscent of the 2010 controversy over Park51, a planned Islamic community center in New York City near the former Twin Towers. But Waldman had finished the first draft of her book before that story erupted.
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Originally Aired: 10/12/2012
The interview is part of Dialogue’s series “Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference” and was taped at the 2012 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together some of the world’s most well-known and illuminating authors to discuss literature and life.