Exit West

Exit West

A Novel

Book - 2017
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An instant  New York Times Bestseller

"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... At once terrifying and ... oddly hopeful." -Ayelet Waldman,  The New York Times Book Review

"Moving, audacious, and indelibly human." - Entertainment Weekly, "A" rating

"A breathtaking novel...[that] arrives at an urgent time." - NPR.org
As featured in the Skimm, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air, PBS Newshour, the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and more, an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands. 

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They 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.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017
ISBN: 9780735212176
Branch Call Number: HAM
Characteristics: 231 p. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

A pair of secret lovers has no choice but to migrate through the "doors" to an unknown countries as refugees.

From the critics

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Jun 25, 2020

In a quasi-parallel reality, Nadia and Saeed are a young couple whose middle-eastern country is experiencing a civil war as militants take over their city. In this world, citizens who are lucky or well-connected can arrange for transport out of a region through mysterious doorways, which the couple opt to do, though where they will end up is uncertain.

If not for the unearthly doorways, Nadia and Saeed's experiences could be the actuality of any number of refugees fleeing similar or equally oppressive circumstances in the world today. It's hard to imagine the daily uncertainty of safety, food, shelter and sheer existence, but this book, though fiction, does an excellent job demonstrating the desperation, heartbreak and guilt felt by those fleeing their homes.

Mar 11, 2020

Nadia and Saeed leave their country due to a breakdown of the Government and take over by militants. They make passage through doorways made a valuable to them and started their lives over bit by bit through trial and error. They faced unspeakable hardships, loss of family, hunger, danger, disease, over crowding, hopelessness.... Eventually they pieced together a new life and found their ways. Very relevant with the breakdown of Governments around the world present day and an increasing resistance to immigrants.

Mar 09, 2020

Loved the idea of "doors" that are suddenly "there" that allow transport to other parts of the world...aside from that, this is a very well written book by an author that I was not familiar with. I plan on reading his other books.

A great little read, good enough to finish in one or two sittings. Get it

cmlibrary_sally Feb 13, 2020

The author did an amazing job of creating characters that almost any reader can relate to upon some level. You are cheering for the young adults and then holding your breath with each day in the conflict. Excellent for book clubs.

Feb 11, 2020

I feel like this book was overrated. The premise sounded great but the execution was severely lacking.

Jan 02, 2020

I read this book in two sittings because I was so swept away by the gorgeous sentences, compelling characters, and a premise illustrated with the perfect amount of detail. Nadia and Saeed meet and begin to fall in love as unrest and instability in their [unnamed] city grows. Meanwhile, mysterious “doors” are popping up around the world, granting access from continent to continent, hemisphere to hemisphere.

The premise is carried off with subtlety and thoughtfulness — it’s not a puzzlebox and you never find out why or how these doors came to exist. That’s not a spoiler; it’s pretty evident from the first couple chapters that the “how” is not the point, as the narrative instead explores this concept that the universe will find a way to open itself to refugees, even if its people and policies won’t. Amidst that concept, Hamid also explores questions that include (but are in no way limited to!): What does it mean to be “from” a place, and how does leaving that place impact your identity? What does love look like in a time of chaos and how does it shift?

Also, it’s kind of a short read! So if you think you don’t have time for a beautifully written magical-realism-refugee-love-story, good news! You definitely do!

Sep 16, 2019

This was a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.
I enjoyed this book and felt like I was there experiencing it with them.

Aug 30, 2019

I finished this book in two days, though it could have been one if not for other commitments. The way it's written almost reads like poetry. I found it a moving and insightful look into what it means to be human in a world that's more diverse and more rapidly-changing than ever. I challenge anyone to read this, and not come away with a little more understanding of, if not compassion for, others.

Aug 29, 2019

Timely topic, interesting narrative, visual imagery...well worth your time if contemporary/futuristic life interests you. Recommended.

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / April 2019

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