Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of the novels Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and the Paris Review, and his essays in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books. Born in 1971, he has lived about half his life, on and off, in Lahore. He also spent part of his early childhood in California, attended Princeton and Harvard, and worked for a decade as a management consultant in New York and London, mostly part-time.

Recently I asked Hamid about what he was reading. His reply:
I just finished Sheila Heti's How Should a Person Be? Fresh and interesting. I was drawn to it by a diary piece she wrote, I think for the Financial Times, where she said that after high-quality, character-driven realism's success on HBO (and its like) the contemporary novel was free to do other things, just as twentieth-century painting was freed by photography. I've said -- and believe -- something similar. So I was curious to see what she did formally in her own novel.

I've just begun Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt. It's too soon for me to say much, but I became aware of the novel because of an essay on the blog 3QuarksDaily that suggested Silicon Valley was shaping the way we read, and that this novel was an antidote. I've started tweeting more, much as I'm personally ambivalent about the medium, so I'm up for seeing what this novel has to teach.
Visit Mohsin Hamid's website and Facebook page.

Mohsin Hamid's most influential book.

Mohsin Hamid's 10 favorite books.

The Page 69 Test: The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

--Marshal Zeringue