This strand is also packed with a knowing humour, from the throwaway - “I am a geriatric primigravida, but I don’t look it,” - to her description of labour, “Between the waves of disembowelling wrench the world is shining. I feel like Aldous Huxley on mescaline.”
Buzz: Man Booker Prize 2017 shortlisted. Picked among 2017's most anticipated books by The Guardian, New York Times, Buzz Feed and more.
Exit West is an intriguing book. On the thinnest skin of surface it’s a love story, set against the backdrop of a refugee crisis. But barely any scratching is needed to reveal what lies beneath: - something that feels more like a parable, or philosophical text, than a novel, asking complex questions about displacement, migration and the resolution of the global tensions they cause.
The success of this book lies in how well that surface layer manages to humanise the refugee experience, to make the issues below seem truly personal. And it does it in the strangest way. Rather than showing the inhuman suffering of the character’s real-life counterparts, Hamid almost strips them of it, both through a distant narratorial style and an unusual plot device. A litt...