Mohsin Hamid has earned a reputation for writing with his finger on the pulse of the future. And his latest novel is no exception. Exit West tells the story of a young couple forced from their homeland by the threat of civil war to begin a new life. Though Hamid began writing the novel a few years ago, amidst recent headlines of nationalism, societal upheaval, and travel bans, Exit West reads as eerily prescient.
Set in an unnamed supposedly Middle Eastern country, the book begins by introducing Saeed and Nadia, natives of “a city swollen by refugees, but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war.” They meet during a night class and begin a series of dates that turn into a tender, playful relationship in contrast to their bleak surroundings. All the while, the effects of civil war creep closer to their doorstep…
*You can read the rest of this review at Fathom Magazine.
Illustration Courtesy of Oumaima Ben Chebtit.