Obama lists Pakistani author’s book among his best of 2017

Mohsin Hamid’s ‘Exit West’ has been praised by critics and book-lovers alike.
Updated 09 January 2018
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Obama lists Pakistani author’s book among his best of 2017

LAHORE: Former US President Barack Obama has made a point of ending each year by releasing a list of the books and songs that he most enjoyed over the past year and 2017’s list included a novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid.
“During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists,” Obama wrote on Facebook at the end of the year. “It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most.”
Hamid’s “Exit West,” a novel that was published in 2017 and deals with emigration and refugee life, made the most recent list. The author’s previous books include “Moth Smoke,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.”
The novel, which is part fantasy, follows the journey of a young couple in an unnamed city who seek to escape the civil war raging around them through a series of mysterious doors that take them further and further away.
Hamid’s book has been praised by critics and book-lovers alike — it made it on to Time magazine’s top ten novels of 2017 list and was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The book’s film rights have been purchased by American film making team the Russo Brothers, so fans can expect a feature-length film based on the story in the future.
Obama’s list includes a diverse range of female authors and other international writers, including Jesmyn Wards “Sing, Unburied, Sing” and “The Power” by Naomi Alderman.


What We Are Reading Today: Foreshadow by Leena Al-Thekair

Updated 19 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Foreshadow by Leena Al-Thekair

  • 'Foreshadow' is the author Leena Al-Thekair’s debut novel
  • The book certainly does not feel like it has been written by a 15-year-old

Steady yourself, you are about to go on a rollercoaster ride. This book gives insight into the life of Meghan, a high-school freshman, who experiences everything a normal high-schooler does: Sore teachers, anxiety about not being able to fit in, finding friends, keeping up with the old ones. But that isn’t anything she can’t handle.

Meghan’s brother is a physics nerd, and Meghan helps him in his lab until one day she survives a near-lethal accident. She is left with a permanent change and so the year in front of her doesn’t look very bearable.

A beautiful story doesn’t just tell you a series of events — it intertwines feelings, emotions, moments you can relate to, and most of all it makes you live the story yourself. All such qualities can be found in Foreshadow.

It is hard to put down the book once you pick it up. What makes the novel even more notable is its author Leena Al-Thekair. This is her debut novel; with its publication she earned the title of the youngest English-language author in the Kingdom. She wrote the book when she was 14 and it was published when she was 15. But Foreshadow does not feel like it has been written by a 15-year-old. 

The book is available in Virgin megastores in all the branches of the Kingdom and at Amazon as a paperback and on Kindle.