meet the author : mohsin hamid
The Passa Porta Festival will have a particular colour this year, as it will be combined with the ICORN Network Meeting, a major annual gathering of the international ‘cities of refuge’ network for writers, artists and journalists in exile, Brussels being among those cities. Who better than Mohsin Hamid to embody a discourse on refuge – whether in terms of identity, geography or imagination?
In his breakout novel Exit West, this admirer of Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Albert Camus and Antonio Tabucchi told a poignant love story against a backdrop of exile and the migration crisis, from the Middle East to the gates of the West.
In his latest book, The Last White Man, he crosses new boundaries. Anders is a young man who works in a gym. One morning he wakes up to find that his skin has turned dark. At the same time, racist riots break out in the city. Anders soon realizes that he is not the only one undergoing this transformation: there are more and more cases of people whose skin has darkened …
Mohsin Hamid is an extraordinary writer who moves with ease from the autobiographical essay to the total novel of a globalized planet, from humour to lucidity, from fable to political essay, from cinema to religion. He is a storyteller on an ongoing journey, a truly cosmopolitan poet.
After an original lecture on the theme of REFUGE, Mohsin Hamid will engage in conversation with journalist and author Annelies Beck.
about the author
Mohsin Hamid (b. 1971) lives in his native Lahore, Pakistan, having previously lived in London, New York and California. His first two novels – Moth Smoke (Betty Trask Award and PEN/Hemingway Award finalist in 2000) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Man Booker Prize shortlist, adapted into a film by Mira Nair in 2012) – have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty languages. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Exit West have earned him a reputation as ‘one of his generation’s most inventive and gifted writers’ according to The New York Times. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker and Granta.
about the moderator
Annelies Beck (1973) is a writer and journalist, known for the current affairs program Terzake. She studied history in Ghent and Brazilian Studies in London. She made a documentary about her great-grandfather, who resided in Glasgow during the First World War. After two novels, Over Het Kanaal and Toekomstkoorts, she is now hard at work on a third book. In 2022, she and illustrator Hanneke Siemensma created the acclaimed philosophical picture book Gedachten denken. In public conversations with authors, she tries to provide insight into the world within and behind the oeuvre.
Org. Passa Porta, ICORN