Winner of the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and The Aspen Words Literary Prize
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and IMPAC Dublin Award
Saeed, a sensitive and somewhat restrained young man, and Nadia, self-aware, independent and free-spirited young woman, meet one night at “the class on corporative identity and product branding” in a town which has been “teetering on the edge of abyss”, at the edge of war.
After the city falls into the hands of the militants and public executions become commonplace, Nadia and Saaed, aware that death sentences await unwed lovers such as themselves, decide to leave the country and look for fortune in the West. Although at first the possibility of escape seems impossible, rumours about “the door that offers passage to other places, distant, far away from this deadly trap of a land” give them hope. Aware that passage through those doors has a price and carries huge risks, Saeed and Nadia are determined to find them and pass through them…
Extraordinarily intimate and inventive, the novel Exit West brings us an unforgettable – contemporary and timeless – tale about love, devotion and courage.
„It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future… This book blew the top off my head. It’s at once terrifying and, in the end, oddly hopeful.“ – Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review
„In spare, crystalline prose, 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 rituals and routines — can morph into the defensive crouch of life in a war zone. … [and] how insidiously violence alters the calculus of daily life. … By mixing the real and the surreal, and using old fairy-tale magic, Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines.“ – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
„In an astonishing synthesis of political commentary and vivid imagery, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West is a commanding yet fanciful outlook of the current climate of global immigration and international xenophobia, as told through the poignant love story of those caught in between.“ – Elena Bruess, The AV Club