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Recognized by readers of his novel, The Taqwacores, as the godfather of American Muslim punk, Michael Muhammad Knight is a voice for the growing number of teenagers who choose neither side of the Clash of Civilizations.” Knight has now written his personal story, a chronicle of his bizarre and traumatic boyhood and his conversion to Islam during a turbulent adolescence.
Impossible Man follows a boy’s struggle in coming to terms with his fathera paranoid schizophrenic and white supremacist who had threatened to decapitate Michael when he was a babyand his father’s place in his own identity. It is also the story of a teenager’s troubled path to maturity and the influences that steady him along the way. Knight’s encounter with Malcolm X’s autobiography transforms him from a disturbed teenager engaged in correspondence with Charles Manson to a zealous Muslim convert who travels to Pakistan and studies in a madrassa. Later disillusioned by radical religion, he again faces the crisis of self-definition.
For all its extremes, Impossible Man describes a universal journey: a wounded boy in search of a working model of manhood, going to outrageous lengths to find it.
Soft Skull Press; February 2009
- ISBN 9781593763602
- Read online
- Title: Impossible Man
- Author: Michael Muhammad Knight
Imprint: Soft Skull Press
About The Author
Michael Muhammad Knight is a novelist, essayist, and journalist. He is the subject of a forthcoming documentary on the "Taqwacore" movement which was spawned by his first novel and was recently interviewed by the New Yorker and LA Times for forthcoming features. He is a frequent speaker at colleges, universities, and even academic conferences.
His first novel, The Taqwacores, about a group of Islamic punk rockers living in Buffalo, inspired a real-life taqwacore” scene of Muslim punk bands, for which the novel has been hailed as a manifesto in coverage by Newsweek, The Guardian, The Star, Rolling Stone, on BBC’s Newsnight, and countless other media. It is also credited with inspiring the American Muslim woman-led prayer movement.