Why I chose this book
“Mohsin Hamid's Exit West gives a deeply real, beautiful, intricate, and electrifying look at what it means to be an immigrant right now. This tale of two people forced from their homeland and searching for a home elsewhere is transporting and illuminating. I was swept away by this gorgeous, otherworldly novel and I'm so excited to offer it as our second selection for Book Club Central, as I'm convinced every reader will feel the same.” —Sarah Jessica Parker
Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House (visit website)
Booklist Starred Review
“In an unnamed city with strict social mores, young Nadia is a rebel, an atheist who chooses to live and work independently. In religious and unassuming Saeed she finds the perfect companion. As the two fall in love, their romance is tinged with a sense of urgency and inevitability as the city falls to militia, and basic freedoms and food quickly become rarities. When the situation turns dire, Saeed and Nadia decide to migrate as thousands already have and cobble together every last bit of their savings to find safe passage out. Caught in the whirlpool of refugees from around the world, Saeed and Nadia are tossed around like flotsam, the necessity of survival binding them together more than any starry-eyed notion of romance ever could. If at times the story of refugees facing no easy choice feels derivative, Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, 2013) smooths over such wrinkles with spellbinding writing and a story of a relationship that sucks its own marrow dry for sustenance. The concept of the door is a powerful, double-edged metaphor here, representing a portal leading to a promised land that when closed, however, condemns one to fates from which there is no escape.” —Poornima Apte
About the Author
Mohsin Hamid is the internationally bestselling author of Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Discontent and Its Civilizations. His award-winning novels have been adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into more than 30 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.
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Award-winning actor, producer, designer, library supporter and avid reader Sarah Jessica Parker is the honorary chair for Book Club Central. In this role, Ms. Parker selects books throughout the year to share her joy of reading and discussing good books with readers everywhere.