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  • NYS Writers Institute

Event: NYS Author Ayad Akhtar in conversation on Friday, August 11

Ayad Akhtar

Join us for a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and New York State Author Ayad Akhtar to take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, August 11, at the Kinderhook Public Library.

Akhtar was named the New York State Author, succeeding Colson Whitehead --- and Willie Perdomo was named State Poet -- at our Albany Book Festival in September 2021. The appointments carry a two-year term. We will announce the new State Author and State Poet at a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 22, the day before this year's Albany Book Festival.

Event details

Ayad Akhtar

In conversation with NYS Writers Institute Opalka Endowed Director Paul Grondahl

5:30 p.m. Friday, August 11

Kinderhook Public Library

18 Hudson Street

Kinderhook, NY 12106

Akhtar is an acclaimed novelist and playwright whose work explores the immigrant experience, Muslim American identity and the world of high finance. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2012 play "Disgraced," and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He is also the author of Homeland Elegies, which Dwight Garner of the New York Times called “A beautiful novel about an American son and his immigrant father that has echoes of The Great Gatsby and that circles, with pointed intellect, the possibilities and limitations of American life.” His first novel, American Dervish, was published in more than 20 languages.

Since 2001, Ayad Akhtar has served as president of PEN America, one of the leading defenders of free speech both here and abroad. The current CEO of PEN America, Suzanne Nossel, author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All, will be our guest for a panel discussion on free speech at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 14, at the University at Albany. More information on that event at:


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