Monday, March 20, 2017


"Magical novel 'Exit West' explores what makes refugees leave home" PBS NewsHour 3/16/2017


SUMMARY:  In "Exit West," a city in the Muslim world is plunged into violence and two lovers join the mass migration of our time.  Mohsin Hamid's story about refugees is a novel, not journalism, but it combines the surreal with the very real.  Hamid sits down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss what inspired him and why he says he's seeing a "failure of imagination" around the world.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  An unnamed city in the Muslim world is plunged into violence, and two young lovers are forced to flee, becoming a small part of the mass migrations of our era.  But they travel through time and space through magic doors.

Exit West” is a novel combining the very real with the almost surreal, imagining individuals behind today's headlines.

Author Mohsin Hamid has spent parts of his life in the U.S. and Europe.  He now lives in his native city of Lahore, Pakistan.

And nice to see you again.

MOHSIN HAMID, Author, “Exit West”:  Nice to see you.

JEFFREY BROWN:  This is in one way a very up-to-the-minute look at the dislocation of individual lives, but, of course, it's not journalism.  It's art.  It's a novel.

Tell me how you thought about what you were after.

MOHSIN HAMID:  Well, I have been moving around my whole life, California, Pakistan, London, New York, Pakistan again.

And I wanted to write about the experience of migration.  And I also felt this resistance to migrants was growing, and I wanted to write in response to that.

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