Children of Dust is an elegant memoir revealing Islamic fundamentalism and madrassa life in rural Pakistan, the culture shock of moving to the U.S., and a journey of reconciliation to the modern Middle East. Author Ali Eteraz is a compelling young male literary voice, and in telling his coming-of-age story he captures not merely pain, but also the love, laughter, and pathos of Muslim life.
“Elegantly written…thoughtful and wry.”
American Library Association’s magazine Booklist
“An astoundingly frightening, funny, and brave book.”
Fatima Bhutto, Pakistani poet and intellectual
“In this supremely assured, lush, and rip-roaring book, Eteraz manages to do the impossible, gliding confidently over the chasm that divides East and West. Wildly entertaining, Children of Dust is memoir of the first order, as genuinely American as Muslim, unraveling the perilous mystery that is modern Pakistan as only memoir can. Unlike others, Eteraz has truly ‘been there,’ and we are all the better for it. One of the most revealing chronicles of Islamic fundamentalism since Mottahedeh’s classic Mantle of the Prophet.”
Murad Kalam, novelist, author of Night Journey
“A gifted writer…Eteraz is able to create a true-life Islamic bildungsroman as he effortlessly conveys his coming-of-age tale while educating the reader. When his religious awakening finally occurs, his catharsis transcends the page.”
“In Children of Dust, Ali Eteraz takes a clear-eyed view of his own coming of age, and chronicles for us the transformations of the 21st century everyman in prose that is alternately inquiring, humorous, humble and wise, we follow the journey of a soul determined to reconcile the many worlds that live inside him. In a time rife with cultural misinterpretations and generalizations, sensitive accounts such as Children of Dust are invaluable assets.”
Laleh Khadivi, novelist, Emory Fiction Fellow, author of The Age of Orphans
Children of Dust is a gift and a necessity, and should be read by believers and nonbelievers alike. Sure to deepen our collective conversation about religion and reason, loyalty and universality, and our geopolitical aims, it’s also just plain fun to read.”
Yael Goldstein Love, author of Overture: A Novel and The Passion of Tasha Darsky
“The gripping story of a young man exposed to both the beauty and ugliness of religion.”
Laila Lalami, novelist, professor of creative writing at University of California-Riverside, author of Secret Son
All I really need to know is that this book was written by Ali. That’s enough to make it worth buying.