PanHarpersAdopting an us-versus-them tone, [Miles] creates the effect of a book written in wartime, calling for peace ... If Miles’s goal is to show non-Muslim readers how much common ground there is between the three Abrahamic faiths, it is a perplexing decision to insist on comparing \'Yahweh\' and \'Allah.\' Leaving the names untranslated transforms the one Almighty into two exotic literary characters ... It is an attempt to humanize what some might see as the enemy, yet by doing so it hardens the stereotypes on which demonization thrives. Part of the problem here is the absence of Muslim voices ... The larger issue is a flawed assumption that seeps into the book and paralyzes it: that the Qur’an cannot be read as literature ... It is our loss that Miles felt he couldn’t treat the Qur’an more trenchantly as a work of art, as Muslims have done for centuries ... with the conclusion of his trilogy, Miles has shown us, perhaps inadvertently, how—ever since God switched on the lights and created his combative human interlocutors—human politics, from the archaic to the present, fills many chapters of the divine memoir.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewHow to approach a memoir of a war still being waged? The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State contains open wounds and painful lessons, as the Yazidi activist Nadia Murad learns how her own story can become a weapon against her — co-opted for any number of political agendas ... To publish The Last Girl right now, in the United States, means there are tricky issues of sensationalism to navigate; in a threatening climate of Islamophobia, Muslims of all kinds are vilified for the actions of one group. Yet Murad, and the team of translators and writers with whom she worked, hedge against this response with a book intricate in historical context ... As a story that hasn’t yet ended, The Last Girl is difficult to process. It is a call to action, but as it places Murad’s tragedy in the larger narrative of Iraqi history and American intervention, it leaves the reader with urgent, incendiary questions: What have we done, and what can we do?