This is, quite honestly, one of the most devastatingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. Hamid, writing with a voice that is at once staggering and loving, has crafted here a love story among ruins. We follow Nadia and Saeed — a young couple who meet in an unnamed hometown on the brink of violent chaos — as they fall in love in a world that has both lost its boundaries and taken the lives of their loved ones. When mysterious doors to other places start to open, and those that are desperate for better lives start to scramble through them, it seems that everyone in the world, including Nadia and Saeed, has become a refugee. Exit West holds a story that is not only entirely present, but also stands a lone as a magical little book that teaches us how to be better, how to empathize, and how to love without boundaries.
"There are some books that when you finish the last page and close the cover, leave you speechless, eomotionally wrecked, and just blown away. Exit West accomplishes all of these at the end of nearly every chapter! The prose is simply gorgeous, the plot compelling, and the characters remarkably true to life. Although set against a backdrop of insurgent, urban violence, and the precarious lives fleeing that violence, the heart of the story remains the deep, personal relationship of the two main characters -- the highs and lows of their young romance. It is a familiar tale that could easily resonate if set at any other time period, in any other part of the world, and yet set within the context of the global migratory experience becomes especially powerful for today's readers. This novel may well be the best book I read in 2017 and I'm forever grateful to the fellow booksellers who strongly recommended it to me." --Matt
FINALIST FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE 2017 KIRKUS PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NEW YORK TIMESBOOK REVIEW, TIME MAGAZINE AND GUARDIAN"A breathtaking novel... that] arrives at an urgent time." -NPR.org "Moving, audacious, and indelibly human." -Entertainment Weekly, "A" rating A finalist for the Man Booker Prize and a New York Times bestseller, the 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 author of the international bestsellers Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, both finalists for the Man Booker Prize. His first novel, Moth Smoke, won the Betty Trask Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award. His essays, a number of them collected as Discontent and Its Civilizations, have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. He lives in Lahore, Pakistan.
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