Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Reluctant Fundamentalist “Love & Hate Relationship with US”


Lately I came across an interesting book; The Reluctant Fundamentalist, it is a novel by Mohsin Hamid that was published in 2007. The novel takes place during the course of a single evening in an outdoor Lahore cafe, where a bearded Pakistani man called Changez tells a nervous American stranger about his love affair with, and eventual abandonment of, America.

The Ego Magazine did an interesting review of the novel, it writes “Much like the narrator Changez in his new novel “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, went to college at Princeton, worked in a corporate firm in New York, and felt compelled to return to Pakistan following the events of 9/11, giving him the starting point to get inside the thoughts of an “outsider” in the aftermath. Written in the form of an extended monologue delivered by Changez, a foreigner who has embraced the Western world only to find himself repulsed by it, the novel packs a powerful punch that is nothing short of breathtaking. Hamid says, “By allowing readers to feel what that man feels, I hope to show that the world is more complicated than politicians and newspapers usually have time for.”

Novel gives a good account of a guy falls in love with America, and then comes back to Pakistan. His hatred towards America grows and tries to find out superiority of Pakistani society. More and more, it is as if he is trying to convince himself of the moral and historical rightness of his return journey to Pakistan.

It is fun read for those who want to migrate but what if they fail to gel in the foreign land the plight would be similar to Mohsin Hasid’s novel character CHANGEZ.

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