The Reluctant Fundamentalist
By Mohsin Hamid
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156034029, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 2008
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A NATIONAL BESTSELLERAt a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter . . .Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.But in the wake of september 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.
MOHSIN HAMID grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and attended Princeton and Harvard. His first novel, Moth Smoke, was a Betty Trask Award winner, a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His writing has also appeared in Time, the New York Times, and other publications. He lives in London.
When it was announced that the accused Times Square bomber was a Pakistani-American, Mohsin Hamid, the author of the 2007 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, noticed several parallels between the life of his main character and Faisal Shahzad, the accused bomber. More at NPR.org
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PRAISE FOR THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALISTElegant and chilling . . . his tale [has] an Arabian Nightsstyle urgency: the end of the story may mean the death of the teller.”The New York Times Book ReviewSlender, smart, and subversive.”Entertainment WeeklyChangez’s voice is extraordinary. Cultivated, restrained, yet also barbed and passionate, it evokes the power of butler Stevens in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.”The Seattle Times A searing and powerful account of a Pakistani in New York after 9/11.”Mira Nair, director of The Namesake