June 10, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Theatre: Ayad Akhtar, master Muslim ironist

1 min read

Fresh off a Pulitzer for Disgraced, Akhtar returns with a mordant play that explores similarities between free-market and Islamic fundamentalism: Amitav Kumar in The Guardian

The Invisible Hand
 Brutal charm: Usman Ally and Justin Kirk in The Invisible Hand. Photograph: Supplied

Ayad Akhtar’s new play The Invisible Hand opened this week at the New York Theatre Workshop. When the lights come on, you see a man sitting in a chair while close to him stands a bearded guard with a Kalashnikov strapped to his back. The seated man is an American banker being held by jihadists somewhere near Karachi. In the opening scene, the prisoner is holding out his hands for the other man to clip his nails, which the latter accomplishes not without some tenderness.

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