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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

June 13, 2017

 

“We are all migrants through time.”
― Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

 

4 ****

 

This is a very interesting, quietly profound sort of book, and I think it will take me a while to mull it over and really understand what Hamid has written. I do think it helps me understand some of the many problems facing migrants and refugees, from making the difficult choice to leave an impossible situation, to trying to keep their identity and history while trying to adapt to different cultures and customs and forge a new existence. There is a lot of contrariness in this story, of wanting to be who the characters were, while at the same time wanting to be the people they need to be in their new environs to survive and start living again in as "normal" a way as they can. This aspect struck me as very thoughtfully and realistically rendered by the author, and for that alone, I think it is a worthwhile read. With recent events in London and Manchester (and sadly so, so many other places, too) it is so important to try to understand our fellow humans and to forge a united society. I think books like "Exit West" which are slow and quiet and force us to consider truths we may not have understood or even voided are so valuable. Though this is not a flawless book, and moved very slowly at times, I know I won't be quick to forget the story of Saeed and Nadia and what they represent.

 

Have you read it? What did you think?

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