In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, Saeed and Nadia share a cup of coffee, and he makes her smile. A few days later they go for dinner, and over time they share many more meals. They try not to notice the sound of bombs getting closer every night, the radio announcing new laws, the public executions.
Eventually the problem is too big to ignore: it’s not safe for Nadia to live alone, she must move in with Saeed’s family, even though they are not married and that too is a problem. Meanwhile, rumours are spreading of strange black doors in secret places across the city, doors that lead to London or San Francisco, Greece or Dubai. One day soon, when the streets are no longer usable, the time will come for Nadia and Saeed to seek out one such door, joining the great outpouring of those fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, looking for their place in the world.
About the Author
Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School and worked for several years as a management consultant in New York. His first novel, Moth Smoke, was published in ten languages, won a Betty Trask Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His essays and journalism have appeared in Time, the New York Times and the Guardian, among others. His latest novel is The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) published by Penguin. Mohsin Hamid currently lives, works and writes in London.