A short book by Mohsin Hamid, this is a story of a Pakistani man’s reaction to America and is narrated as a one-sided conversation by Changez, the protagonist. If you are interested in the clash of culture between Pakistan and the States, both pre and post 9/11, then I would definitely recommend this book, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It’s beautifully written and brilliantly lends flesh and bone to some of the important elements making up the distrust we can easily witness all around us today between East and West.
I’m not usually interested in novels about current events although I am certainly interested in East versus West issues and Pakistan, in particular, as one of my favourite uncles was born there. And, of course, it certainly is a timely piece to read with Benazir Bhutto’s assassination concentrating world attention now.
But what got me to read this book was a short excerpt from the beginning of the book in the newspaper which can be also be found online here. Changez’ conversation with an American visitor to Pakistan worked very well as a literary device for me. It sparked my interest enough for me to seek the book at the library. I likely will buy it and look forward to reading Hamid’s other novel and future efforts. He is well worth following.
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