Mohsin Hamid is the author of four novels, Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Exit West, and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations. His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thirty-five languages. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.
Books by Mohsin Hamid
“Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Exit West) returns with The Last White Man, a work of speculative fiction in which people wake up, unexpectedly, with different skin tones. Kirkus described it as ‘a brilliantly realized allegory of racial transformation.'” Read more...
The Notable Novels of Summer 2022
Cal Flyn, Journalist
“It’s at once describing things that everyone should do from that commanding, imperative voice of the self-help manual: move to the city if you want to be successful, don’t fall in love, things like that. But at the same time, it’s also describing the particular narrative of this one character, and it’s oddly collapsed in this figure of “you,” who is both the protagonist and the author, but also the reader, who identifies with the protagonist through the second-person voice.” Read more...
Beth Blum, Literary Scholar
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by Mohsin Hamid
What’s especially useful about it is the way in which it describes the transformation in this man’s thinking. The protagonist is somebody who had been living in New York and been a banker and he gradually turns into, as the title says, a reluctant fundamentalist. This is something that I have seen among my friends in Pakistan. People who I have always thought of as very, very Westernised. They went to school abroad and certainly didn’t have the habits of religious types. But they are increasingly angry with the West and sympathetic to an anti-Western agenda and propaganda and very receptive to all kind of thoughts.
“I love the way Mohsin places us at the point where Westernized dreams hit a wall. Oftentimes, in South Asian literature, like White Tiger, when people are trying to get out of their situation, then they get stuck or they get crushed. If you don’t have the power, if you don’t have the wealth, if you don’t have the access, it happens. Moth Smoke is about this guy who’s stuck. But the story has propulsive energy to it.” Read more...
The Best South Asian American Novels
Interviews with Mohsin Hamid
The Best Transnational Literature, recommended by Mohsin Hamid
Beleaguered ‘citizens of nowhere’ will be pleased to know they have their own literary genre. For anyone who has ever wondered where they belong, or why, when you leave your home country, it’s never the same when you return, here are the best five books to read—including some by the greatest authors of the 20th century.
Interviews where books by Mohsin Hamid were recommended
The Best South Asian American Novels, recommended by Wajahat Ali
South Asian Americans are too often treated as sidekicks or even suspects in national narratives. Wajahat Ali recommends five fantastic novels by South Asian American authors, and makes a compelling case that for the United States to succeed as a multi-racial democracy, “it is key that people pick up the pen to tell America’s full story.”
The best books on Drug Addiction, recommended by Shazia Omar
Author and social psychologist discusses the nature of drug addiction and the problems associated with it. Discusses books by Coelho, Welsh and Kerouac
South Asian Literature, recommended by Ahmede Hussain
The acclaimed author recommends the most exciting new writing out of India and South Asia, including accounts of 9/11 from a Pakistani perspective and an emigré’s return to an unfamiliar Bangladesh.
The Best 9/11 Literature, recommended by Amy Waldman
Amy Waldman reported on the aftermath of 9/11 for the New York Times, but when it came to writing a book about it, she wrote a novel. The Submission was hailed as one of the best novels to come out of the tragedy, including by the Financial Times. Here, she chooses some of the best literature inspired by 9/11, including novels, a memoir and a book of poetry.
The best books on Pakistan, recommended by Daniyal Mueenuddin
Pakistani writer Daniyal Mueenuddin explains that if you live somewhere as stable as England it’s very difficult to understand how quickly things are changing in Pakistan
The Best Self-Help Novels, recommended by Beth Blum
Since the publication of Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help (1859) in Victorian Britain, self-help has become a billion dollar industry—and its influence is even felt in the contemporary novel, says Harvard literary scholar Beth Blum, author of The Self-Help Compulsion, a new history of the rise of self-help narratives in modern literature.
The Notable Novels of Summer 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn
If you’re looking for a new book to keep you entertained or intellectually excited over the summer break, we’ve got you covered. Five Books’ deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a round-up of the notable new novels of summer 2022, from snappy debuts and fantasy epics to the latest book from the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.