by Kamila Shamsie
Published: August 2017
A British-Pakistani retelling of Antigone that cuts deeply into one of the most divisive and charged political issues of our day: Muslim immigration in a time of ISIS. Various characters offer their perspective in unraveling the story – a devout Muslim studying sociology, a secular, hawkish political conservative, and a naive rebellious youth are but a few.
4.5 out of 5: The layering of personal narratives and insight was masterfully crafted and I really enjoyed the meta-story that arises from it. Just goes to show how easy it is to judge someone before you know their motives, their story. What’s the old adage – “we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions”?
As for the ending, **SPOILER ALERT** while there is definitely room for debate here, I do not think the ending was lazy or hyperbolic. It perfectly captures the intense theatrical downer that is greek tragedy (though I definitely wouldn’t have caught the Antigone parallels on my own) but it also fits unsettling well into the chaos and violence of the ISIS narrative. This is exactly the sort of situation that terror organizations take advantage of.