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Mohsin Hamid: Exit West

Fri, April 10th, 2020
7:30 pm
- 9:00 pm

Mohsin Hamid is the author of four novels — Moth SmokeThe Reluctant FundamentalistHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Exit West — and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations. His most recent book, Exit West, is the Williams Reads selection for this academic year.

Set in a country teetering on the brink of civil war, Exit West  is the story of two young people—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed—who 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.

Hamid’s writing has been translated into forty languages, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.

This is event is part of the year-long programing for Williams Reads, which aims to foster new connections among students, staff, faculty, and community members by exploring diversity through a common reading experience. Developed by the Committee on Diversity and Community (CDC), Williams Reads is an initiative offered as an opportunity for us to explore a book together that will help us to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of diversity. It is a goal of the CDC to select a book that will stimulate community engagement and challenging conversation.

Book signing to follow.

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