(Book of the Month) (Book Club)

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The Participant Observer Book of the Month is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

A New York Times bestseller, Exit West is the astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.

Internationally best-selling author Mohsin Hamid’s compelling new novel tells the story of young lovers Saeed and Nadia, who leave a country in the midst of civil war and journey to Greece, England and, eventually, the United States in an effort to invent new lives for themselves.

In the spare, crystalline prose that characterizes his style, Hamid conveys the experience of living in a city under siege with sharp, stabbing, immediacy. He shows just how swiftly ordinary life – with all its banal everyday rituals – can morph into the defensive crouch of living in a war zone. A magical door transports Saeed and Nadia to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Mykonos. Other such doors take them to London, to San Francisco, and onward. The fictional universe of Exit West is in m¬any ways extrapolated from the real world we live in, with wars like the one in Syria turning cities into war zones; with political crises, warp-speed technological changes, growing tensions between nativists and migrants threatening to upend millions of lives… Hamid writes, “the apocalypse appeared to have arrived, yet it was not apocalyptic, which is to say that amid jarring changes things were not the end, people found things to do and ways to be and people to be with and desirable plausible futures began to emerge, unimaginable previously, but not unimaginable now.”

“In Exit West, Mohsin Hamid mixes global trouble with a bit of magic.”—The New York Times.