2019-2020 Book: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Called a “breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time” by NPR, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West is an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands. Winner of the 2018 LA Times Book Prize and selected as the 2017 New York Times Best Book of the Year, Hamid’s work in Exit West has been hailed as “moving, audacious, and indelibly human” by Entertainment Weekly where the novel received an “A” rating.

Set in a country teetering on the brink of civil war, Exit West  is the story of two young people—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed—who embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Find out more about Hamid’s work at his website.


October 6, 2019: An American Tail, Images Cinema film screening

October 13, 2019: Dheepan, Images Cinema film screening

January 2020: Portals Project – campus-wide door decorating project

April 10, 2020: Mohsin Hamid Speaks on Campus