The Submission

The Submission

Book - 2011
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"When a Muslim architect wins a blind contest to design a Ground Zero Memorial, a city of eleven million people takes notice."--Chris Schluep, Amazon Best Book of the Month
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374271565
Branch Call Number: FIC WALDMAN 2011
Characteristics: 299 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jul 21, 2019

A jury of artists, historians, architects, and a family member of a victim judge the anonymous submissions of designs for a 9/11 memorial at the site of the WTC. They unknowingly select the design submitted by a Muslim American. And all hell breaks loose.

This book had a very New York-y rhythm and vibe that hooked me immediately (I guess it's like riding a bike...). Like Bonfire of the Vanities and the wannabe Visits from the Goon Squad, a large and disparate group of people react and interact around the main plot point, and like any large and disparate group of people, some characters were admirable, others sleazy, others thoroughly unlikable, others break-your-heart courageous, etc. Waldman's writing style was deceptively simple - she straightforwardly tells her story and sits back and lets the reader take the emotional and intellectual journey on their own. That was the perfect choice for this challenging and thought-provoking tale. It felt good to search my soul and engage my brain. I began and ended the book with the same set of opinions on this "controversial" topic, but I still needed to exercise my muscles a bit to defend my views.

Aug 19, 2013

This novel reflects the contradictions of the US and the conflicted responses to 9/11. In the end, Waldman has a positive perspective on the future. The author was at the Ottawa Writers' Festival shortly after the book was published and was impressive in her presentation of her book.

oO_Oo Aug 02, 2013

I got about 10 pages into this before I realized I read it already. It was pretty unmemorable. The characters are flat and unlikeable, the writing is stiff and the dialogue is wooden.

jeanner222 Mar 20, 2013

It has been two years since the terrorist attack on 9/11. A jure debates the merits of two memorials submitted to the contest; one of these will be erected to memorialize those lost on 9/11. The jury member who represents the families who lost loved ones in the attack is strident in her defense of a garden memorial. She convinces other jurors to vote for the design. And when the garden design is determined to be the winning design, the name of the submission’s architect is revealed: Mohammad Khan.

Can Americans/New Yorkers accept and embrace a 9/11 memorial designed by a man with a Muslim name? Even if he is an American? Can an American with such a name be treated in post-9/11 America?

People from all sides of the issue will weigh in on the memorial and its architect. Obviously, there will be controversy.

This novel received a lot of hype, but I’m just not impressed by it. I guess the plot could have been interesting, if it had not been so obvious. The characters are one-dimensional, and I just could not force myself to care about them.

Jul 31, 2012

Vvery well written and described with great accuracy what might have happened had this scenario (a Muslim wins a contest to design the September 11 World Trade Center memorial) actually played out, but the characters were fairly flat, which made it hard to really get into the book. Still, it was an enjoyable read and, in case anyone is looking, one particularly well suited to book clubs. I definitely wouldn't mind having people to discuss this one with.

Jul 29, 2012

Well-written, good character development, and good plot. I got a bit bogged down in the morass of the prejudices, processes, egos, stereotypes and politics. I ended up skimming the second half. The rest of my book club was far more positive.

Jul 25, 2012

While it started a bit slower than other things I have been reading lately, after a bit I found myself engrossed. A thought provoking book about the prejudices and stereotypes we possess that we may not wish to acknowledge. A great read.

Jul 20, 2012

Interesting perspective on the 911 tragedy and what could have happened. Racially charged, interesting and worth a read. I agree with valency_sterling...good but not great.

Jul 09, 2012

A good book, but shy of "very good" or "great." Even with the twist of events and such, the material didn't feel especially compelling or new. It could definitely generate a lot of discussion and be good for book clubs, but there was some certain spark missing.

geezr_rdr Jul 04, 2012

As the narrative develops we get a great description of the evils unleashed by the events of 9-11 and how these threaten the better angels of our nature. Hang on to the very end to get the full impact of this story.

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