No Longer At Ease by Chinua AchebeRead about the other books Hamid tagged.
I read No Longer at Ease when I was going to school in Pakistan. It was the first novel by an African writer that I had ever read. In some sense it felt familiar. The main character leaves Nigeria, goes to study in Britain and is, as the title suggests, no longer at ease. It’s a novel that stayed with me, in part because it broadened my sense of who could write literature and what literature was supposed to be about.
No Longer at Ease explores not just moving to a country but leaving a country and returning. The dynamic of somebody who moves in two directions—abroad and back again, was of real interest of me, as someone who had done that myself. I’ve bounced to and from Pakistan and America, and other places as well. The sense that we’re changed by migration—that home is no longer the same because we are no longer the same—was very powerful in that book and that’s part of why it sticks with me.
Visit Mohsin Hamid's website and Facebook page.
Mohsin Hamid's most influential book.
Mohsin Hamid's ten favorite books.
The Page 69 Test: The Reluctant Fundamentalist.