cover image The Submission

The Submission

Amy Waldman, read by Bernadette Dunne. AudioGO, unabridged, library edition, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $94.95 ISBN 978-0-7927-8132-5

Bernadette Dunne narrates this audio version of Waldman’s insinuating tale of post-9/11 paranoia, reflexive patriotism, grief, and the collision of liberal pieties with anti-Muslim bigotry. The novel is a symphony of competing perspectives, its characters squabbling furiously over Muslim architect Mo-hammed Khan’s proposed plans for the 9/11 memorial in New York City. Dunne must scramble to keep up with the parade of angry, profane, mournful, and frustrated voices. And while she’s not a particularly energetic reader—occasionally emphasizing words at random—Dunne skillfully maneuvers her way through the novel, mostly eschewing the temptation to provide distinct voices for each character and instead maintaining a fairly uniform tone of breathy, occasionally husky combativeness. Dunne stands back as the characters steadily inflict wounds on each other and themselves while attempting to assert moral superiority. Perhaps learning the book’s lesson, Dunne asserts no superiority, letting Waldman’s book stand or fall distinctly on its merits. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardcover. (Sept.)