Exit West

Exit West

4.3 (93 ratings on Goodreads)
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"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 "A breathtaking novel...[that] arrives at an urgent time." -NPR.org "Moving, audacious, and indelibly human." -Entertainment Weekly, "A" rating As featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, in the Skimm, on Fresh Air, and elsewhere, 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 231 pages
  • 147 x 213 x 25mm | 363g
  • Riverhead Books
  • United States
  • English
  • 0735212171
  • 9780735212176
  • 9,497

About Mohsin Hamid

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.show more

Review quote

"Hamid exploits fiction's capacity to elicit empathy and identification to imagine a better world. It is also a possible world. Exit West does not lead to utopia, but to a near future and the dim shapes of strangers that we can see through a distant doorway. All we have to do is step through it and meet them." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, The New York Times Book Review (cover) "In spare, crystalline prose, Hamid conveys the experience of living in a city under siege with sharp, stabbing immediacy. He shows just how swiftly ordinary life -- with all its banal rituals and routines -- can morph into the defensive crouch of life in a war zone. ... [and] how insidiously violence alters the calculus of daily life. ... By mixing the real and the surreal, and using old fairy-tale magic, Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today's headlines." --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times "This is the best writing of Hamid's career... Readers will find themselves going back and savoring each paragraph several times before moving on. He's that good. ... Breathtaking." --NPR.org "Nearly every page reflects the tangible impact of life during wartime--not just the blood and gunsmoke of daily bombardments, but the quieter collateral damage that seeps in. The true magic of [Exit West] is how it manages to render it all in a narrative so moving, audacious, and indelibly human." -Entertainment Weekly, "A rating" "Hamid rewrites the world as a place thoroughly, gorgeously, and permanently overrun by refugees and migrants. ... But, still, he depicts the world as resolutely beautiful and, at its core, unchanged. The novel feels immediately canonical, so firm and unerring is Hamid's understanding of our time and its most pressing questions." --NewYorker.com "No novel is really about the cliche called 'the human condition, ' but good novels expose and interpret the particular condition of the humans in their charge, and this is what Hamid has achieved here. If in its physical and perilous immediacy Nadia and Saeed's condition is alien to the mass of us, Exit West makes a final, certain declaration of affinity: 'We are all migrants through time.'" --Washington Post "Like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but set in the real world. You'll be hearing about it, so get into it now." --TheSkimm "In gossamer-fine sentences, Exit West weaves a pulse-raising tale of menace and romance, a parable of our refugee crisis, and a poignant vignette of love won and lost... Let the word go forth: Hamid has written his most lyrical and piercing novel yet, destined to be one of this year's landmark achievements." -Minneapolis Star Tribune "A remarkable accomplishment....not putting a human face on refugees so much as putting a refugee face on all of humankind....Hamid's writing--elegant and fluid...--makes Exit West an absorbing read, but the ideas he expresses and the future he's bold enough to imagine define it as an unmissable one." -The Atlantic "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... This book blew the top off my head. It's at once terrifying and, in the end, oddly hopeful." -Ayelet Waldman, New York Times Book Review "Brilliant....[Hamid] highlights the stark reality of the refugee experience and the universal struggle of dislocation." -Newsday "If there is one book everyone should read ASAP, it is Mohsin Hamid's Exit West...Short, unsentimental, deeply intimate, and so very powerful." --Goop "Spare and haunting, it's magical realism meets the all-too-real." -W Magazine "With great empathy, Hamid skillfully chronicles the manic condition of involuntary migration... 'Exit West' rattles our perception of home." St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Taut but haunting." -Vanity Fair "Powerfully evokes the violence and anxiety of lives lived 'under the drone-crossed sky.'" --Time Magazine "Hamid's timely and spare new novel confronts the inevitability of mass global immigration, the unbroken cycle of violence and the indomitable human will to connect and love." --Huffington Post "Hamid doesn't avoid or sugarcoat the heartache and hurt accompanying contradiction and change, as people 'all over the world were slipping away from where they had been.' But he also has the courage to ... see change as an opportunity." -- Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel "A dark fable for our turbulent time, Exit West...portrays a world of transience, violence, and insecurity that rhymes with our world of porous borders and rabid tribalists." - Dallas Morning News "I have not been this emotionally moved by a book in years... By the end ... I was in tears and had to sit still for a bit to reflect. This timeless and timely love story is one we need; right now and forever." -Sarah Bagby, KMUW Wichita "A great romance that is also a story of refugees; this couldn't be more timely." --Flavorwire "Exit West is a compelling read that will make you think about the times we are living in right now." -PopSugar "Timely and original." -Business Insider "Urgent and much needed... an antidote of sorts (one can only hope) in this moment of xenophobic fear and mistrust." -Mother Jones "Eerily prescient." -Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker.com "A commanding yet fanciful outlook on the current climate of global immigration and international xenophobia, as told through the poignant love story of those caught in between... A beautiful rendering of the lives hidden in the folds of war." -AV Club "While we've permitted ourselves to go soft, we can be thankful for the writers in the rest of the world who continue to write in the tradition of our greatest literary works. No surprise, then, that Mohsin Hamid belongs in that pattern... a writer celebrating the possibility of hope. That's what makes his latest novel so profound." -Counterpunch "Political without being didactic and romantic without being maudlin... Exit West is a richly imaginative work with a firm grip on what is happening to someone somewhere right this minute." -BookPage "[A] thought experiment that pivots on the crucial figure of this century: the migrant... Hamid's cautious, even fastidious prose makes the sudden flashes of social breakdown all the more affecting...Evading the lure of both the utopian and the dystopian, Exit West makes some rough early sketches of the world that must come if we (or is it 'you'?) are to avoid walling out the rest of the human race." -Financial Times "Exit West operates on another plane... Beautiful and poetic even at its most devastating." -Book Riot "Remarkably current and timeless ... A haunting and heart-piercing novel that reminds us to be courageous and to handle our shared humanity with great care. This is required reading." -Uli Beutter Cohen, Eye Level "Raw, poetic, and frighteningly prescient." --BBC.com "Spellbinding." --Booklist (starred) "Timely and resonant." --Publisher's Weekly, Top 10 Most-Anticipated Literary Fiction of 2017 "One of the most bittersweet love stories in modern memory...a book to savor." --Kirkus Reviews "[H]eartbreakingly relevant." --Library Journalshow more
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