THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST
Published in Hamish Hamilton hardback at £14.99 on 1st March 2007
‘A brilliant book. With spooky restraint and masterful control, Hamid unpicks the underpinnings of the most recent episode of distrust between East and West….a nuanced and complex portrait of a reluctant fundamentalist.’
Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss and winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
I read Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist with increasing admiration. It is beautifully written — what a joy it is to find such intelligent prose, such clarity of thought and exposition — and superbly constructed… this is more exciting than any thriller I’ve read for a long time, as well as being a subtle and elegant analysis of the state of our world today. I was enormously impressed.’
Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Narrated by Changez, a young Pakistani man, to a nameless American sitting opposite him at a Lahore cafe table, as afternoon turns to evening, Mohsin Hamid’s second novel is an intensely imagined and dramatic encounter between East and West, against the backdrop of shifting world politics.
This devastating and powerfully written novel traces the life and love of Changez, an idealistic young Muslim man who leaves Pakistan to pursue his education in the US. On graduation from Princeton, Changez is recruited to a top job on Wall Street, falls in love with an American woman, Erica, and hopes to achieve a position of status in elite Manhattan society.
But post-9/11 he finds himself regarded with suspicion by his fellow New Yorkers and his budding relationship with Erica is overshadowed by her personal demons, as well as his own growing paranoia and resentment at the country he has made home.
With echoes of Fitzgerald and Camus, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a carefully patterned and beautifully composed novel which packs a mighty emotional punch – going straight to the heart of what matters most in the times we live in.
‘Moth Smoke has the power of imagination and skill to orchestrate personal and public themes of these consequences and achieve a chord that reverberates in one’s mind.’ Nadine Gordimer
Mohsin Hamid was born in 1971 in Pakistan, where he grew up. He studied at Princeton and Harvard Law School, worked as a management consultant in New York and now lives in London. His first novel, Moth Smoke (2000, Granta) was a New York Times Notable Book, won the Betty Trask First Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel in America. Mohsin has written journalism for TIME, New York Times, Guardian, Independent and New Statesman and is available for interview or to write pieces under commission.