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"A gifted writer and scholar, Eteraz is able to create a true-life Islamic bildungsroman as he effortlessly conveys his coming-of-age tale while educating the reader. . . . His catharsis transcends the page."Publishers Weeklyon Children of Dust
Ali Eteraz's much-anticipated debut novel is the story of M., a millennial dandy, lapsed believer, aesthete, and second-generation immigrant who wants nothing more than to bring children into the world as full-fledged Americans. As M.'s world gradually fragments around himhis military-contractor wife refuses to start a family because of a debilitating illness; he is abandoned by his best friend and mentor; and he loses his respectable job at an ad agency after a politically charged confrontation with his bossM. spins out into the pulsating underbelly of Philadelphia, where he encounters other young men and women grappling with fallout from the War on Terror.
Among the pornographers and converts to Islam, punks, and wrestlers, M. reconstitutes, and vows never again to face the specter of degradation and humiliation as a second-class citizen. Darkly comic, provocative, and insightful,Native Believer is a startling vision of the contemporary American experience and the human capacity to shape identity and belonging at all costs.
Ali Eteraz is based at the San Francisco Writer's Grotto. He is the author of the coming-of-age memoirChildren of Dust (HarperCollins) and the surrealist short story collectionFalsipedies & Fibsiennes (Guernica). Eteraz's short fiction has appeared in theChicago Quarterly Review, storySouth, and Crossborder, and his nonfiction has been highlighted by NPR, theNew York Times, and the Guardian. Recently, Eteraz received the 3 Quarks Daily Arts & Literature Prize judged by Mohsin Hamid, and served as a consultant to the artist Jenny Holzer on a permanent art installation in Qatar.