The powerful debut novel by Anton Piatigorsky

How do the personal and political lives of Supreme Court justices affect their decisions?

Al-Tounsi tells the behind-the-scenes story of U.S. Supreme Court justices as they consider a landmark case involving the rights of detainees held in an overseas U.S. military base.

Inspired by a true case from 2008 addressing Guantanamo Bay, the fictional lawsuit of Al-Tounsi v. Shaw pits Majid Al-Tounsi, an Egyptian prisoner, against the President of the United States. It challenges U.S. laws that apply to non-citizens under wartime circumstances and the extent of executive power.

As the controversial case maneuvers through the minds and hands of the justices, the novel explores in detail how the personal life dramas, career rivalries, and political sympathies of these judicial titans blend with their philosophies to create the most important legal decisions of our time.

Book Cover
  • Al-Tounsi is at once a remarkable novel of the law and a remarkable novel of human relationships. The Supreme Court is the pinnacle of American jurisprudence, but it’s also a very small and very intimate workplace, staffed by nine erratic geniuses. In Al-Tounsi it’s all on display, along with one searingly familiar case about wartime detainees.”
    —Ben Winters, author of Underground Airlines

  • “This remarkable book marries a sophisticated understanding of the law to an even deeper grasp of human nature. The result is revelatory: insight into both current legal issues and the timeless problems of being human.”
    —Kermit Roosevelt, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of Allegiance: A Novel

  • “A wonderful read. Piatigorsky has created a fictional Supreme Court filled with fascinating justices handling a case that easily could be real. Al-Tounsi is a powerful reminder that justices are human and that, as much as the law, determines how important cases are decided.”
    —Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law and author of ten books, including The Case Against the Supreme Court

Pre-Order Now

About the Author

Photo credit: Greg Pacek

Anton Piatigorsky

Anton Piatigorsky is a playwright, librettist, and author of The Iron Bridge, a collection of short stories about 20th Century dictators as teenagers, which was a runner-up for the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. As a playwright, he is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore awards for best new play and numerous other nominations. His plays include Eternal Hydra, Breath In Between, and the libretto for the Juno award-winning opera Airline Icarus.

Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Anton lives in Toronto. Al-Tounsi is his first novel.

For more about Anton and his other work, visit



Ankerwycke is the trade imprint of the American Bar Association. Ankerwycke titles are distributed by National Book Network.


Publication Date: March 1, 2017
359 pages
Paperback $16.95 | ISBN: 978-1-63425-609-4
E-book $9.99 | ISBN: 978-1-63425-610-0