Pakistani-American wins drama Pulitzer

Published: April 16, 2013
Pakistani-American writer and actor Ayad Akhtar. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistani-American writer and actor Ayad Akhtar. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: Pakistani-American Ayad Akhtar’s play “Disgraced” has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The play centers on the themes of racism, Islamophobia, sexism and apostasy, according to a report from The Guardian.

The Pulitzer jury described “Disgraced” as “a moving play that depicts a successful corporate lawyer painfully forced to consider why he has for so long camouflaged his Pakistani Muslim heritage.”

The play beat Gina Gionfriddo’s “Rapture, Burn and Blister” and Amy Herzog’s “4000 Miles” to win the $10,000 prize.

“Disgraced” was first produced in Chicago’s American Theatre Company and was transferred to the Lincoln Center in New York afterwards.

The drama Pulitzer, awarded by Columbia University, seeks to recognize “a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life”.

Akhtar has written numerous screenplays, but this was his debut as playwright. He was born in Staten Island, New York to Pakistani parents.

The New York Times publication was awarded four journalistic Pulitzer prizes for 2013.

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