The terrorist of John Updike’s title is eighteen-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, the son of an Irish American mother and an Egyptian father who disappeared when he was three. Devoted to Allah and to the Qur’an as expounded by the imam of his neighborhood mosque, Ahmad feels his faith threatened by the materialistic, hedonistic society he sees around him in the slumping New Jersey factory town of New Prospect. Neither Jack Levy, his life-weary guidance counselor at Central High, nor Joryleen Grant, his seductive black classmate, succeeds in diverting Ahmad from what the Qur’an calls the Straight Path. Now driving a truck for a local Lebanese furniture store—a job arranged through his imam—Ahmad thinks he has discovered God’s purpose for him. But to quote the Qur’an: Of those who plot, God is the best.
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In his extraordinary and highly charged new novel, John Updike tackles one of America's most burning issues – the threat of Islamist terror from within. Set in contemporary New Jersey, Terrorist traces the journey of one young man, from radicalism to fundamentalism to terrorism, against the backdrop of a fraying urban landscape and an increasingly fragmented community. In beautiful prose, Updike dramatizes the logic of the fundamentalist terrorist – but also suggests ways in which we can counter it, in our words and our actions . . .About the Author:
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of the New Yorker, to which he has contributed poems, short stories, essays and reviews. Since 1957 he has lived in Massachusetts. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Howells Medal.
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