Ali Eteraz’s debut novel Native Believer is a kaleidoscopic panorama of 21st century America. It is an unadulterated portrayal of an empire that forces all to give in to its logic and does not hesitate to punish those who offer resistance. American Muslims are not so much the subject of the book as they are its raw material. Surveying broad swaths of a breathtaking tapestry, across a landscape populated by a colorfully sundry cast, Eteraz manages to tease out the core contradictions of life in contemporary America. The story is set in a vividly rendered Philadelphia, where loyalties are in constant flux, where roots often act as shackles, and the pursuit of the American dream is hampered at every turn by the relentless pull of a past that never ceases to exist. There is also a lot of sex.