Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 256 pages
Audiobook Length: 4 hours and 42 minutes
First Published: 2017
In a Middle Eastern country on the brink of civil war, fierce Nadia and gentle Saeed begin a romance, nestled securely in love as the city erupts around them. As violence escalates, they begin to hear rumors of doors with the ability to whisk you away to another part of the world. Yet as the world changes, so do Nadia and Saeed. With just a hint of magical realism, Exit West is a unique work of literary fiction that provokes more thoughts than emotions. Hamid dispassionately tells a tale of desperately clinging to the past while trying to forge a new future.
The astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .
Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Quotes from Exit West
We are all migrants through time.
To love is to enter into the inevitability of one day not being able to protect what is most valuable to you.
And so their memories took on potential, which is of course how our greatest nostalgias are born.
In this group, everyone was foreign, and so, in a sense, no one was.