From the internationally best-selling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a love story that unfolds across the rapidly changing face of a volatile world.
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.
©2017 Mohsin Hamid (P)2017 Penguin Audio
"The narrator's style is purposeful, measured, and dramatic. Each chapter leaves the listener waiting to hear what will happen next." (AudioFile)
This is a wonderful novel by one of the best novelists. And the narration, done by Hamid himself, is excellent.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
I heard an interview on NPR with Mohsin Hamid, was intrigued by his discussion of Exit West, and find the book even more intriguing having read it. Hamid tells the story of Saeed and Nadia and their courtship “in a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war.” With this story, the reader must consider love, violence, war, and the plight of refugees. By telling us the everyday, normal story of Saeed and Nadia, we can more easily put ourselves into their situation, feel empathy, and consider what it would be like if our normal lives were torn apart by having to flee our home and country. The magical realism of doors unexpectedly appearing throughout the city to allow people to migrate is an interesting one, and Hamid's writing is evocative. It all works together to tell an extraordinary story about globalization and how people will have to face others who might look and think very differently, but one that we should all read. Exit West is read by the author and his narration was perfect.
It's been a long time--too long--since a new book has held me riveted. The language, the story, the profound reality encapsulated in this relatively short book bring to life the very best of fiction.
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