BLUE HILL — “Homeland Elegies,” the celebrated 2020 autobiographical novel by Ayad Akhtar, will be the focus of an online book club discussion sponsored by Word, the Blue Hill literary arts festival.

The book discussion will take place Sunday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. via Zoom. Laura Miller of Blue Hill, book critic for and a member of Word’s steering committee, will lead the discussion.

Participation in the Word Book Club is free, but participants must pre-register at www., where they also will find a link to a New York Times review of the book.

Blue Hill Books will offer a 20 percent discount on “Homeland Elegies” for book club participants. Books can be ordered by phone (207-374-5632) or via the store’s book club web page ( for mailing or curb-side pick-up.

Like Akhtar, the narrator of “Homeland Elegies” is the American-born son of Pakistani immigrants. His idyllic American life becomes increasingly complicated after 9/11 and with the election of Donald Trump, for whom his father shows puzzling support. The novel made “best of 2020” lists in a dozen publications and was Barack Obama’s favorite book of the year.

“It’s all me,” Akhtar told Slate interviewer Isaac Butler, “but so much of it also has an added concoction. So it’s me, but it’s not me.”

Writing the book in memoir style but calling it a novel gave him “the freedom to write whatever I want.”

Like his narrator, Akhtar is best known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

The Word festival takes place annually in October but also offers events throughout the year. Organizers started offering online events last spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information is available at or 207-374-5632.