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Multnomah County Central Library
Multnomah County Library
Published: 13 September 2017

Next February, Multnomah County Library will launch Everybody Reads 2018, the library’s 16th annual community reading project, with Moshin Hamid’s Exit West.

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, Exit West tells the story of Nadia and Saeed, who begin their love affair against an increasingly unsettling backdrop of unrest and violence. As conditions worsen, the scope of human displacement and migration begins to envelop them as they seek ways out. Exit West explores the path to safety across time and space through a set of mysterious doors to what lies beyond.

“Exit West examines many of the questions – of safety, fate, belonging, otherness – that surround us today,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “Moshin Hamid takes concepts that we sometimes treat in abstract or clinical terms and washes them in humanity to help us think and feel differently. Exit West is an incredible work.”

Mohsin Hamid is a Pakistani writer. He is the author of four novels, Moth Smoke (2000), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013), and Exit West (2017), and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations (2014). His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into 35 languages.

How to participate

Through a shared reading experience, we will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding.


Extra copies of the books will be available in February 2018 at all neighborhood libraries, and e-books will be downloadable from the library catalog, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. Readers are encouraged to share extra copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors.


Beginning in February 2018, share your thoughts at a book discussion at your neighborhood library or bookstore.


Attend a cultural program. Dates will be announced soon.

Be inspired.

Hamid will speak on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets are available from Literary Arts.

Everybody Reads, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts.

About Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services. About 30,000 people use the library each day, either online or in person. To read more about Multnomah County Library, please visit www.multcolib.org.

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