Setting down roots as a Pakistani Muslim American. Claiming America as home despite constantly being branded as the other. These tropes might sound like worn ground but they’re sheer dynamite in this awe-inspiring, semi-autobiographical novel. Akhtar tears open every wound on the collective American psyche, while chronicling the straight path from the ‘80s to Trump. The process is exhilarating and insightful. One of those rare novels that is as necessary to read as it is enjoyable. I am glad I took President Obama’s recommendation on this one. Warning: the book includes a couple of brief instances of rather graphic sex.