Between the Covers

American Dervish  by Ayad Akhtar
This is the definition that I am familiar with
Whirling Dervish

A term of endearment for an energetic, bouncy person. 
A spastic, white dancer. 
Also refers to someone that is messy and chaotic, in a cute way.

Sally's excited jumping is adorable, she's such a whirling dervish!

My house was clean before that whirling dervish spent the night!

This is the definition that I think the book is referring to.


A member of a Muslim (specifically Sufi) religious order who has taken vows of poverty and austerity. Dervishes first appeared in the 12th century; they were noted for their wild or ecstatic rituals and were known as dancing, whirling, or howling dervishes according to the practice of their order.


Some interesting sites.

Muslims in Milwaukee

Pakistani Doctors in North America

The Quran

Monticello Public Library
Carolyn Seaver 938-4011