Here’s the second paragraph on the first page of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West: “It might seem odd that in cities teetering at the edge of the abyss young people still go to class–in this case an evening class on corporate identity and product branding–but that is the way of things, with cities as with life, for one moment we are pottering about our errands as usual and the next we are dying, and our eternally impending ending does not put a stop to our transient beginnings and middles until the instant when it does.”
The novel is cited by the New York Times as one of the five best novels of 2017. It’s terrific. His earlier novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, is a great read, too.
And the great Rebecca Solnit, on the myth of a “real” America, is, as always, spot on.