27 April 2017, The Tablet

Migrants through time


Exit West
Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid’s first three novels laid claim to fresh fictive territory that remains, to a sobering degree, anything but imaginary. In Moth Smoke (2000), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013), he mapped the multiple fault lines between East and West by mining his own background as an emigrant Pakistani.

Born in 1971, now back in Lahore after an itinerant childhood, education and early career (as a management consultant) divided between his homeland, California, London and New York, he milked every drop of this unique, distinctively contemporary experience to produce what is, in effect, a troika of classic debut novels. Though published years apart, they are yoked together by the originality, topicality and contentiousness of their subject matter, by the inventiveness of their respective styles (in order: thriller, parable and satire) and by the fluidity of their prose. Much admired, their relevance endures.

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