We like this series for its scrupulous attention to detail. Its descriptive passages pop with verbs; we are right there, walking with the imam as he starts his morning. Elliott balances narrative action and context, reminding the reader what the one man she follows more broadly represents, and renders that context with subtlety and intelligence. Much of this piece could easily have become political, but Elliott keeps it neutral, largely by maintaining firm control of her descriptions. Ultimately this piece gives readers a glimpse of what it means to be not only an imam in America, but a religious Muslim.

Read “An Imam in America,” by Andrea Elliott

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