The WestportREADS program is dedicated to strengthening the community through the shared experience of a book or an author.

January-February 2019

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


The Westport Library’s WestportREADS selection for January/February 2019 is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, an award-winning novel that follows two refugees who, against all odds, find life and love on the run. Forced out of their country by civil war, this moving story celebrates love, courage, family and the fierceness of the human spirit. The book was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award and named a top ten best book of 2017 by the New York Times. Companion books will also be available for kids and teens.

To request a discussion leader for your group, contact Kathleen Malloy at kmalloy [at] westportlibrary [dot] org.

From the New York Times, "New & Noteworthy" section, 11/6/18: “As a White House correspondent specializing in foreign policy, I’ve written dozens of stories about how the United States confronts — or more often, fails to confront — the horrors of civil war in Syria, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere. Mohsin Hamid’s slender novel EXIT WEST takes the geopolitics out of war completely — it doesn’t even name the country being ravaged — and views it purely through the lens of a young couple, Nadia and Saeed, who fall in love among the ruins. The language is spare and unsentimental; Hamid follows the young couple to bleak refugee camps in Mykonos, London and Marin County, Calif. (he names those places, sketching out a dystopian portrait of a world coping with a mass-migration future). Nadia and Saeed are brave, heartbreaking and utterly credible. But they make their journey around the world by passing through mysterious black doorways — an abrupt turn to magical realism that has left some readers puzzled. I think it captures how quickly, in an era of mass mobility and digital communications, the victims of distant wars can end up on the West’s doorstep.”—Mark Landler, White House Correspondent 

WestportREADS is an annual program dedicated to strengthening
the community through the shared experience of a book.

WestportREADS 2019 is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman. 


Previous WestportREADS books include:

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Snow in August by Pete Hamill

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Soloist by Mark Salzman

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

          My Life in France by Julia Child


          Dubliners by James Joyce


 Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride 

Bettyville by George Hodgman

Regeneration by Pat Barker


WestportREADS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.