Exit West

Books about immigration and refugees can be tough to get through. They hit hard and they hit deep, and the writing is often meant to slow the reader down. Exit West operates on another plane. The book introduces us to the young, charming Saeed and the rebellious Nadia, as they fall in love amidst the daily routines of their lives, in an unnamed, normal city. Once you’re hooked, Hamid gives you the gory details: war and violence is taking their city by storm, rendering them immigrants, as the young couple isforced to flee. With its surprisingly poignant use of magic realism, the novel is beautiful and poetic even at its most devastating.

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