John Wray's "Godsend" Is A Coming-Of-Age Novel About A Girl Joining The Taliban

Jan 26, 2019

Personal stories of lives affected by terrorism have been the well-trod terrain of many books, films, and television. More recently, a new crop of journalists and writers have attempted to shed light on the question plaguing many in the international community: Who are these young men and women leaving home to join ISIS, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups?


John Wray’s Godsend is a diligent and eloquent attempt to fill out that portrait. Inspired by the story of John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban,” Godsend is the story of teenage girl named Aden Sawyer. Desperate to escape the confines of her hometown and defy her domineering parents, Aden travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan, entangling herself in a web of radicalization, violence, and disillusionment about her original purpose.

John Wray is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels The Lost Time Accidents, Lowboy, The Right Hand of Sleep, and Canaan's Tounge.  The recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, he was named one of Granta's Best of Young Novelists in 2007.