From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, a love story that unfolds in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration.
In an unnamed city teetering on the brink of civil war, a young couple embarks on a furtive love affair. Estranged from her tradition-bound family, sensual, fiercely independent Nadia is a rarity as a single woman living alone. Gentle Saeed still lives at home with his parents, a love match from an era when most marriages were arranged but social freedom was greater. As the long-simmering unrest explodes, turning the city into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, the couple is at first separated and then thrust into an intimacy for which they may not be ready. They begin to hear talk of doors—doors that can whisk people far from their country, if perilously and for a price. When a wave of executions sweeps through the city, the two decide that they no longer have a choice. They find a door and leave behind their homeland and their old lives.
Following the couple through the mysterious doors—which lead them first to a migrant camp on Mykonos and then to teeming Vienna, a squatter-occupied mansion in west London, and finally to California, with its timeless beacon of promise and possibility, Exit West is Mohsin Hamid’s most ambitious and electrifying novel yet. Both wide-angled and heartbreakingly specific in its depiction of the forces that are wracking our world, and the lives that are uprooted, transported, and reshaped in the process, it’s an epic compressed into a slender page-turner, a novel both completely of our time and for all time.
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From the Hardcover edition.