Sunday, March 18, 2012

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar

When booksellers want to get a particular book into the hands of readers, they rely on a few things.  The easiest?  They tell those readers when they walk through the door that they have to read that specific book, or they tell their coworkers they have to read that book - or those coworkers have to at least help a fellow bookseller out and so they tell readers that, yes, they have to read that book.

If the bookseller feels particularly passionate, he can blog and tweet about it.  He can make 8 1/2 x 11 posters with pictures and arrows directing readers to buy the book.

Or - he can create a diorama on his bookshelves so that, even when he is not in the store, people may be forced to take notice.  To ask themselves, why is the Qur'an on the same bookshelf as The Tropic of Cancer?  Why does a pink scarf link those two books - and the third one, the one in the middle?

With any luck, there will be a fascinated few who read the card under the middle book - the card that tells them if they want to know the connection between the books and the scarf, they have to read American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar.

Maybe you'll be intrigued.  Are you, reader?  Do you want to be entertained and enlightened?  If so, I think you know what to do.

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