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Exit West

A Novel

By Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by Mohsin Hamid / 4 hours 41 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

“Exit West will take your breath away as it magically weaves together a story of falling in love while the world falls apart. Spirited Nadia captures the heart of the thoughtful Saeed, but as their different paths in life converge, ordinary life gives way to the insults of war. Mohsin Hamid conveys the story of these young refugees with tenderness, humanizing the horrors that we too often see as merely headlines. As chaos touches so many lives around the globe, Hamid writes eloquently of the beauty found in our struggle to survive. This is more than a timely story; this is a remarkable work of art.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage

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.

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“Eerily prescient.”

Joyce Carol Oates

“A beautiful and very detailed look at what it means to be an immigrant…An incredible book.”

Sarah Jessica Parker

Reviews

“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

“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

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.


Related Reading

Review: In ‘Exit West,’ Mohsin Hamid Mixes Global Trouble With a Bit of Magic
The New York Times

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid review – magic and violence in migrants’ tale
The Guardian

A Novel About Refugees That Feels Instantly Canonical
The New Yorker

Author
Narrator Mohsin Hamid
ISBN 9781524752255
Length 4 hours 41 minutes
Language English
Publisher Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication Date
Abridged No
 
We are all migrants through time. To love is to enter into the inevitability of one day not being able to protect what is most valuable to you. And so their memories took on potential, which is of course how our greatest nostalgias are born. Young men pray for different things, of course, but some young men pray to honor the goodness of the men who raised them... She had the bizarre feeling of time bending all around her, as though she was from the past reading about the future, or from the future reading about the past.

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