Born: Lahore, Pakistan
Who is he?
Author of critically acclaimed The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke, and the latest How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid is at heart a desi Lahori. He describes himself as a ‘mongrel’ (and we’d say he makes a pretty cute one) since he has lived on different continents and now divides his time between London, New York and Lahore. A graduate of both Princeton and Harvard Law School, he has worked for McKinsey and Company in New York City and now works as a brand consultant – all this while also being one of Pakistan’s most renowned English language novelists.
Why we love him
If there’s one thing we visit the yearly literature festivals for, it’s for Mohsin Hamid’s sessions and the readings in his deep, steady voice. He is praised among his peers for his easy-going personality and optimism. With his rough, half-shaved hairstyle, intense brows, boyish smile and that twinkle in his eyes, Mohsin Hamid personifies the nerdy charm we’d expect Pakistan’s most entertaining English language novelist to have.
He always manages to pick the most au courant themes for his books: whether writing about an ex-banker living in post-nuclear test Lahore in Moth Smoke or about a Pakistani man who abandons his American dream after the 9/11 attacks in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin is always tuned in to what we’re going through as a nation. He knows how to spin a yarn and we can only dream of whiling away a thousand and one nights listening to his tales. A man who can play with words has license to play with our feelings, and we love that he writes about taboo subjects in a rather mysterious third person narrative which keeps us completely engrossed.
What you didn’t know about him
Mohsin calls himself “a sucker for love stories.” He believes that be it songs, poetry or any form of expression, love is the central metaphor for looking at human relations. We seem to be connecting with you through love too, Mohsin!
Unlike the general impression of the writer as a loner lost in his own world, Mohsin is a true family man. He loves hanging out and spending time with his family and believes that they make him feel grounded.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, May 5th, 2013.
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