Reading and discussion with Mohsin Hamid Apr26


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Reading and discussion with Mohsin Hamid

On 25 April 2012, The Ewing Literary Society and the Griswold History Society of Forman Christian College arranged a reading and discussion with renowned Pakistani writer, Mohsin Hamid, the author of two best-selling novels Moth Smokeand The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

To a packed audience of about two hundred students and faculty from FC College, Punjab University, Lahore College for Women, and Kinnaird College for Women, Mr Hamid read parts from both his novels for about twenty minutes. The reading was followed by almost an hour of questions and discussion which brought out several important themes and ideas which underlie Mr Hamid’s work. Answering a question about the creative process Mr Hamid said that at times it is as if the characters themselves take control of a story, and the author has to change his initial ideas about the book. ‘The original idea and the final novel,’ Hamid said, ‘are rarely the same.’ In response to a question about a sequel to The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid said, ‘You, the audience, are the sequel,’ arguing that the author’s task is to ignite the creative person in the reader to further internalise and contemplate on the issues raised in the novel.  Talking about his future plans, Hamid revealed that he has just completed the first draft of a new novel which should be in print early next year. In the meantime, the film version of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland is at the editing stage and is due to be released next year.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash from the Department of History FCC, highlighted the multifaceted nature of the novel. He said that the novel is not just a literary endeavour, it is a political, social, and cultural act, and so has relevance and implications for people in several ways. Thanking Mr Hamid Dr Waseem Anwar, Dean of Humanities FCC noted that Mohsin’s presence at FC has made a remarkable difference in terms of the common goal of all academic institutions, that is to promote good readership along with good authorship locally as well as internationally.