THE DOMESTIC CRUSADERS:
A TWO-ACT PLAY
BY WAJAHAT ALI
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“[The Domestic Crusaders] is brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny.”
— Toni Morrison
Wajahat Ali’s The Domestic Crusaders is the first play published by McSweeney’s, and one of the first major plays about Muslim Americans. It focuses on a day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family of six eclectic, unique members who convene at the family house to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of the youngest child.
With a background of 9/11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among the three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each “crusader” struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand that unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.
Today we’re offering a peek at the play’s first scene, “Tom Jones and the Biryani Surprise.” It begins with Fatima, the 24-year-old American daughter, walking into the kitchen to find her “traditional” Pakistani immigrant mother, Khulsoom, rocking out to Tom Jones.
For more about play, please visit the McSweeney’s Store. The Domestic Crusaders is also available as part of McSweeney’s 36, one of our finest issues, which also includes new work from Michael Chabon, Colm Toíbín, Tim Heidecker, Adam Levin, John Brandon, actor Jesse Eisenberg, and many more.
ALSO: Wajahat Ali and Ishmael Reed will be in conversation, discussing the play tonight, December 9th at UC Berkeley (Doe Library, Morrison Room) at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public. More information here.