Nadia and Saeed meet at class in a seemingly modern, but culturally restrictive city. It could be worse, and soon it is, as a militant faction attacks, and their neighborhood become a war zone. There are only two options – hide or escape. Like the underground railroad of Colson Whitehead’s novel that actually has tracks and stations, the doors of opportunity for the migrants trying to escape brutality are actual portals to possible salvation, but whether they wind up in Mykonos, London, or Marin, California, each destination brings peril. Hamid’s spare and elegant style is almost dreamlike and matches the almost unimaginable fates the protagonists must face. And yet, and this is likely the point, people are facing these horrors every day, and the doors are far more difficult to pass through.— Daniel Goldin
March 2017 Indie Next List
“Exit West will take your breath away as it magically weaves together a story of falling in love while the world falls apart. Spirited Nadia captures the heart of the thoughtful Saeed, but as their different paths in life converge, ordinary life gives way to the insults of war. Mohsin Hamid conveys the story of these young refugees with tenderness, humanizing the horrors that we too often see as merely headlines. As chaos touches so many lives around the globe, Hamid writes eloquently of the beauty found in our struggle to survive. This is more than a timely story; this is a remarkable work of art.”
— Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
An instant New York Times Bestseller
-It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly hopeful.- -Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review
-Moving, audacious, and indelibly human.- -Entertainment Weekly, -A- rating
-A breathtaking novel... that] arrives at an urgent time.- -NPR.org
As featured in the Skimm, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air, PBS Newshour, the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and more, an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .
Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
About the Author
Mohsin Hamid is the internationally bestselling author of Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Discontent and its Civilizations, and Exit West, coming in March 2017. His award-winning novels have been adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into more than thirty languages. His essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker, among many other publications. Hamid now resides in Lahore, his birthplace, after living for a number of years in New York and London.