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The "submission" of the title is a garden to be built on the site of the twin towers as a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 disaster. There were other submissions (the Void, for instance) but the only one that matters in Amy Waldman's novel is the garden. That is because it was designed by an architect with the unfortunate name of Mohammed Khan. That a Muslim man should be chosen to create such a memorial breeds much controversy. The novel is structured around the repercussions of selecting Khan's garden design for this purpose. Waldman introduces a large cast of characters in order to demonstrate the complexity of this problem. We see many points of view, from Paul Rubin, the chair of the selection committee, to Sean Gallagher, the brother of a firefighter victim, to Asma, a Bangladeshi illegal immigrant who lost her caretaker husband in the collapse of the buildings. There are many others too, but the two most important characters in the novel are Claire Burwell, a beautiful widow who was on the selection committee as a representative of the victims' families, and the architect, Mo Khan, himself. There is a ripple effect here - one reaction leads to another, then to another and so on. The reader sits on the sidelines and observes, as the story bounces from one resulting event to another. I liked this structure although at times, I thought the novel rather slow as a result. Ultimately, The Submission is a novel that is well worth reading, There is lots to discuss here.by Mary B on October 04, 2013
by Amy Waldman
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by Amy Waldman
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by on October 25, 2016
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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