Booker Prize-shortlisted author, Mohsin Hamid, will be releasing his new book, Exit West, just in time for spring this year, splintering together a love story in the midst of crisis and impending war. Following on from the international best-selling success of his second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, he takes on the tough task of creating a narrative within the dense crush and fear of a refugee landscape.
It is a landscape that had become a dominating factor of nightly news for the last few years or so without anything resembling letup or solution, so it promises to be an important novel. Trump’s election win in the US and the media storm around Brexit have distracted a lot from the situation, so Hamid’s novel will be a timely reminder that a terrible human crisis is still raging on.
Exit West will be out on hardback on the 2nd March 2017. The release date will also see it arriving on ebook, but it doesn’t appear to be listed for audio book as of yet. How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia is the only one of Hamid’s previous three novels to make it out on audio book, so it’s possible that his latest book will be missed as well.
Not all love stories take place in havens of tranquility and Exit West centres on a romance that begins in a city bulging with refugees with war an ever present threat on the horizon. Much like the beginnings of love throughout the world, Nadia and Saeed’s story starts with a date, over coffee in the heart of the city. However, it doesn’t take long for the threat of crisis to reach them and the couple are forced to embark on a journey away from their home, leaving behind a falling city, broken by conflict.
About Mohsin Hamid
Mohsin Hamid made his debut in 2000 with Mothsmoke, which told the story of a Lahore banker who loses his job, falls for his best friend’s wife and gets bogged down in a life of drugs and crime. However, it was with the release of his his second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, in 2007, that he become more well known, picking up the Booker Prize nomination, along with the international best-seller status that comes with it. The story frames the life of Changez who regales an American man in Lahore with the tale of his love affair in the US and eventual move away from his Western past.
He followed that up in 2013 with How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia, looking this time at a man’s ascent from a poor childhood to the commerce of the city in a bid to find wealth and love. Using interesting novel structure and a variety of insightful themes, Hamid has built up a reputation for creating challenging novels and his latest hardback release looks set to continue the trend.
Exit West sounds like it could be another international best-seller for Mohsin Hamid, as well as being an early contender for the 2017 Booker Prize longlist. Putting the potential success of the book to one side, though, the most important point is that it should put at least a little attention back in the direction of the people that are living the real life refugee crisis. If you’re looking to do your own bit to help the people that are most vulnerable, you can find out more with UNISEF’s refugee crisis campaign.