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Hamid, Mohsin

Entry updated 21 November 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1971-    ) Pakistani-born author, mainly in US and UK from early childhood, though more recently in Pakistan. He began to publish work of genre interest with "Of Windows and Doors" (14 November 2016 The New Yorker), an excerpt (released well before the book's publication) from his first novel of sf relevance, Exit West (2017), which is set in an unspecified City in an unspecified Near Future (see Mainstream Writers of SF), though the narrative is in fact intensely conveyed and full of particularized sensory impact. Its protagonists, having discovered a form of Matter Transmission via portals, travel instantaneously to various parts of the planet that seem less tortured. Their experiences, in California and elsewhere, make up a kind of anthology of migrant experiences in the early twenty-first century. The Last White Man (2022) is a late instance of the tale of colour reversal (see Race in SF), with all white men beginning to turn black in a country without a name.

Hamid's earlier novels, beginning with Moth Smoke (2000), are nonfantastic, while at the same time importing, through their vivid though structurally estranged renderings of lives intersecting across the planet in times of stress, an unusually vivid sense of the front edge of the contemporary. [JC]

Mohsin Hamid

born Lahore, Pakistan: 23 July 1971




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