Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
A Novel

82%

10 Critic Reviews

It's a breathtaking novel by one of the world's most fascinating young writers, and it arrives at an urgent time.
-NPR

Synopsis

An instant New York Times Bestseller

“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… At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.” –Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review

“Moving, audacious, and indelibly human.” –Entertainment Weekly, “A” rating

“A breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time.” –NPR.org
 
As featured in the Skimm, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air, PBS Newshour, the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and more, an 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 Mohsin Hamid

See more books from this Author
MOHSIN HAMID's first novel, Moth Smoke, was a Betty Trask Award winner, PEN/ Hemingway Award finalist, and New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His second, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a bestseller in the United States and abroad, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His most recent novel is How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Hamid's writing has also appeared in Time, the New York Times, and other publications. He lives in Lahore, Pakistan.
 
Published March 7, 2017 by Riverhead Books. 238 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Exit West
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Dec 06 2016

Unable to protect each other, fearful but resolute, their lives turn in unexpected ways in this new world. One of the most bittersweet love stories in modern memory and a book to savor even while despairing of its truths.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 13 2017

Hamid’s storytelling is stripped down, and the book’s sweeping allegory is timely and resonant. Of particular importance is the contrast between the migrants’ tenuous daily reality...

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Mar 01 2017

It's a breathtaking novel by one of the world's most fascinating young writers, and it arrives at an urgent time.

Read Full Review of Exit West: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Hamilton Cain on Mar 03 2017

There are many indelible moments like this one throughout “Exit West.” Let the word go forth: Hamid has written his most lyrical and piercing novel yet, destined to be one of this year’s landmark achievements.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Mushtaq Bilal on Mar 15 2017

What is remarkable about Hamid’s narrative is that war is not, in fact, able to marginalize the “precious mundanity” of everyday life. Instead — and herein lies Hamid’s genius as a storyteller...

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Elena Bruess on Mar 06 2017

Even with the occasional lapses in narrative, Hamid has crafted an incredibly moving antidote to the unseen world of refugees and immigration in Exit West.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Viet Thanh Nguyen on Mar 10 2017

This gentle optimism, this refusal to descend into dystopia, is what is most surprising about Hamid’s imaginative, inventive novel. A graceful writer who does not shy away from contentious politics and urgent, worldly matters — and we need so many more of these writers...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Feb 27 2017

By mixing the real and the surreal, and using old fairy-tale magic, Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines, while at the same time painting an unnervingly dystopian portrait of what might lie down the road.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Richard Warnica on Mar 07 2017

I hesitate to call it important, because that might suggest it’s preachy or reductive. It’s not. It’s also more than just a morality tale. If nothing else, Hamid has crafted a touching and subtle portrait of the imperfect bond between two decent and very different people.

Read Full Review of Exit West: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Hedley Twidle on Feb 24 2017

Evading the lure of both the utopian and the dystopian, Exit West makes some rough early sketches of the world that must come if we (or is it “you”?) are to avoid walling out the rest of the human race in the 21st century.

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Reader Rating for Exit West
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 69 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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