Sunday, December 16, 2012

Get Ready for More Mohsin Hamid in 2013

I'm a bit disappointed that the film version of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist (releasing next spring) hasn't been getting better buzz, but it I suspect it will be must-see for our Loyal Readers regardless. But something I am really excited about is his new book, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia also coming out next year. Read this great short story, “The Third-Born”, taken from the novel in The New Yorker. Then follow up with their Q. & A.
I can’t shake the idea that a novel is like a dance, with two people dancing, writer and reader, and it’s a bit strange to pretend I’m doing it by myself. This time around, after a couple of failed drafts, I gave in to the second person completely, and I found it pretty liberating as a form: you can move from a hyper-intimate first-person-like perspective to a cosmically removed third-person-like one very easily. It seems to invite that kind of riffing.
As reported in the New York Daily News, Hamid spoke recently with author Jay McInerney about writing the book,
Hamid described how he had felt he needed to exorcise a self-censorship in the writing of the upcoming “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” — which takes the form of a self-help book and charts a boy’s rise from rural urchin to corporate tycoon — due to a fear of angering Pakistani authorities. McInerney asked: “Do you ever have a tiny Salman Rushdie on your shoulder telling you ‘be careful’?”

“In a way it’s the American writers who are atypical,” said Hamid, “in most of the world, there’s a whole bunch of stuff you have to be careful about, and so yeah, there are many constraints on speech in Pakistan. The flipside of that is if someone will kill you for saying something, it means what you’re saying matters...even slightly pushing the boundary feels worthwhile...I have not received any kind of threat” he added “but I’m careful.”
In other Mohsin Hamid news, Moth Smoke (which we also enjoyed) is being set to film as well. And, add him to the list of our favorite authors who love the hobbits-- see evidence here and in this reflection on Hamid's childhood journey from culture to culture and how it fed his interest in language and imaginary lands.

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