Naropa University and Boulder Book Store present New York Times Best-Selling Author Ayad Akhtar


Evening Will Feature a Reading and Signing from his Debut Novel, American Dervish

Ayad Akhtar will read his debut Novel American Dervish at NaropaBoulder, Colo. (September 25, 2012) -- Naropa University and Boulder Book Store present actor, playwright, filmmaker, and new novelist, Ayad Akhtar, for a reading and signing of his stunning debut novel, American Dervish (Back Bay Books) on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Naropa's Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder Colorado, 80302. The reading is free and open to the public. Books can be purchased at the event from the Boulder Book Store.

What: American Devish Reading/Book Signing with Ayad Akhtar
When: Thursday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Naropa Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe, Boulder CO 80302
Price: Free and open to the public

American Dervish focuses on one family's struggle to identify both as Muslim and American, one boy's devotion to his faith and the sometimes tragic implications of extremism. As an American-born, first -generation Pakistani-American, Akhtar wanted to recount the rarely told coming-of-age story of a Muslim-American boy. The Shah family copes with faith and belonging in pre-9/11 suburbia, and through them the reader understands the struggles, challenges, value and cost of being Muslim in America. In all of his writing, Akhtar attempts to open a window on the vibrant and complex reality of the Muslim-American experience.

Ayad Akhtar earned a degree in theater from Brown University and after graduating, moved to Tuscany to work with world-renowned acting and theorist and pioneer Jerzy Grotowski (Towards a Poor Theater). Since the 1990s he has been a resident of New York City, where he has taught acting on his own and alongside Andre Gregory (My Dinner with Andre, Vanya on 42nd Street). An alumnus of the graduate film program at Columbia University, Akhtar earned a degree in directing and won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays. He was the cowriter and star of The War Within, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Best Screenplay) and an International Press Academy Satellite Award (Best Picture-Drama) and released internationally. He also costarred in HBO's Emmy-nominated adaptation of Too Big To Fail. Akhtar is also a playwright, with stage plays Disgraced and The Invisible Hand premiering in 2012. American Dervish is his first novel, and publication rights have been sold in twenty-one territories worldwide.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.