RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewHamid’s enticing strategy is to foreground the humanity of these young people, whose urbanity, romantic inclinations, upwardly mobile aspirations and connectedness through social media and smartphones mark them as 'normal' relative to the novel’s likely readers. At the same time, he insists on their 'difference' from readers who may be Western. Their city is besieged by militants who commit terrible atrocities, evoking scenes from Mosul or Aleppo ... Hamid takes full advantage of our familiarity with these scenes to turn Exit West into an urgent account of war, love and refugees ... The novel implicitly asks these readers why doors should be closed to refugees, when those readers might become refugees one day? How these doors work is not Hamid’s concern. The doors can be manifestations of magic realism, fantasy or science fiction, or all three, but they simply stand in for the reality that refugees will try every door they can to get out ... This gentle optimism, this refusal to descend into dystopia, is what is most surprising about Hamid’s imaginative, inventive novel. A graceful writer who does not shy away from contentious politics and urgent, worldly matters — and we need so many more of these writers — Hamid exploits fiction’s capacity to elicit empathy and identification to imagine a better world.
The FugitivesChristopher Sorrentino
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewLike one of Nanabozho’s simple, spare tales, Sorrentino’s novel might be a little deceptive because it disguises its complexity. Those tricked by Nanabozho or Sorrentino are guilty of not listening closely enough. The trickster is a cunning storyteller, as is Sorrentino. Not that he’s just some smart guy who writes excellent sentences. He also delivers what any reader of a thriller would expect. Rest assured that by the end of the book guns are drawn, shots are fired and we finally hear the voice of the dead.
The Making of Asian AmericaErika Lee
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesThe Making of Asian America takes these simple — and dare I say racist — notions of who Asian Americans are and contrasts them with their rich, complicated stories and their struggles to become a part of the United States and other American countries.