Caroline M.'s Reviews > The Submission

The Submission by Amy Waldman
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's review
Aug 01, 12

Read in July, 2012

The Submission describes the controversy that erupts after the winner of a 9/11 memorial competition is discovered to be a Muslim. The fact that he is a secular American doesn't sway those inclined to oppose his design solely on the basis of his religion. Waldman does a thorough job describing the various factions involved, although occasionally it feels like she is checking off boxes -- wealthy widow representing the families on the memorial committee? check. Working class family of a firefighter killed in the attack? check. Widow of undocumented Bangladeshi janitor? check -- to the extent that the novel begins to feel as if it is trafficking in the very stereotypes it is trying to examine. It's a tough balancing act. The novel might have read better when it first came out than it does now, after the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. I sometimes felt I was reading the newspaper, not a work of fiction.

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