Exit West

By Mohsin Hamid,

Book cover of Exit West

Book description

A BBC 2 Between the Covers Book Club Pick - Booker Gems


'Astonishing' Zadie Smith
'Stunning' Spectator
'Extraordinary' TLS

An extraordinary story of love and hope from the…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Exit West as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The book is a dizzying mix: the grim realities of displacement are intertwined with speculative fiction – fantasy even.

A love story of two migrants, Saeed and Nadia, who traverse the globe to escape conflict and try and find a way to be together. Oftentimes, they find their way across borders through a series of ‘doors’ – a device reminiscent of CS Lewis (in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) and one which takes the protagonists across the world. Elegant, spare prose; brutal realities, and electrifying flights of fancy – Exit West has it all.

One reason I…

From Irfan's list on displaced people.

Exit West follows a young couple who must escape their war-torn Middle Eastern city and find refuge somewhere on this shrinking planet.

The couple loses their sense of home while their home loses its history. Hamid writes with a detached intimacy, like from the viewpoint of a drone, the kind that bombed Nadia and Sayed's city, as it hovers over the couple during their most challenging and intimate moments.

Still, while they leave everything they know, Nadia and Sayed find home in each other. Hamid crafts a sense of place not bound to one location, but to two hearts. As…

A moving love story set against a surreal landscape. The spare and inventive prose packs a powerful punch in this novella-length book. 

A subtle and moving examination of how relationships survive against a backdrop of forced migration. It cleverly explores who has the right to be where. The ending to this unconventional love story will stay with you long after reading. This book is perfect for book club discussion groups as it poses so many important questions of our time.

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