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Jessica
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Questions for Mohsin Hamid

Do you have a question for Mohsin, not related to any of the discussion topics?

Reply to this message to start the conversation.

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bentley
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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid (Spoiler)

[ Edited ]

Jessica wrote:

Do you have a question for Mohsin, not related to any of the discussion topics?

Reply to this message to start the conversation.





Hello Mohsin,

I believe that I have selected a book which makes me uncomfortable as an American who loves America; and who has seen firsthand the devastation and destruction that was 9/11. Yet, the book is a page turner and unputdownable. First, I congratulate you on your accomplishment.

And secondly, I feel that you have given a voice to those who might feel differently about the country I love and its people. And I certainly believe that you have the right to depict a character who has these feelings and cuts his ties with another culture and loses his budding love (his quest for the American dream).

But I have to say that as an American (like a vast large number of others here), I also admire other cultures and their customs and beliefs and I have traveled to countries which are Muslim or have large Muslim populations and have tried to blend in with my surroundings so as not to cause attention.

I think I have even found admiration for the love of family and other custom(s) and really do appreciate and sympathize with how difficult it is to be a good Muslim especially in a very difficult global climate.

I have to say that I supported what transpired after 9/11 in regards to Afghanistan; but have never been in agreement with the war in Iraq and/or starting it in the first place. And of course like so many others I hope it ends well for "everyone".

I am also sympathetic to what Muslims have experienced in the aftermath of 9/11 and how profiling can exacerbate differences and heighten the disparity between peoples. Unfortunately, the situation and its consequences for the well being of Americans in America does not allow enough "wiggle room". And maybe the political climate right now here in this country would make "some" feel unwanted or shunned in some way. That to me is unfortunate and "bridges" between these disparities should be built so an understanding can be achieved.

But my first question is this (having said the above):

When a novelist writes a novel which has so much in common with specific locations and the life that he once lived, how much of Changez's ideology are a part of the author's? In asking that question, I think of Hemingway and the Nick Adams stories and some of Cormac McCarthy's books as examples. And how much of what is depicted in the character comes to play in the choices that the author himself has made regarding America or his life's decisions? For example, you chose to become a UK citizen versus an American (with dual citizenship). I am very interested in understanding your perspective on this as a point of discussion and also admire your courage in depicting a character such as Changez who is a mouthpiece I imagine for some.

Message Edited by bentley on 04-29-200710:19 AM

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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid (Interview with Deborah Solomon/NYTimes/04/15/07) Spoiler


Jessica wrote:

Do you have a question for Mohsin, not related to any of the discussion topics?

Reply to this message to start the conversation.





Hello Mohsin,

Recently you had an interview with Deborah Solomon titled Questions for Mohsin Hamid; The Stranger.

The interview for me raised more questions than it answered and I thought that I would pose some of these same questions to allow you to respond more completely. Some of your answers seemed abbreviated. I also had many other questions as well based upon my reading of the interview and of your "exciting though chilling book". I am very interested in understanding the differences that you have alluded to. Here are my comments and my questions. I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to pose these questions and am listening with understanding even though I might not always agree.

Question 1: Solomon described your novel as a Muslim's critique of American values and your answer was that it was a love song to America. Since I also did not buy that response either after reading the book, possibly you might want to expound on your answer by being allowed to answer that question more completely here. Something may have gotten lost in the extract that was published and it is only fair to give you an opportunity to explain what you truly meant.

Question 2: Having responded as you did to the first question posed by Solomon, my next question focuses on how you perceived yourself as a Muslim living and working in America? You stated in your novel that Changez never felt he was an American but he did identify with New York. Do you share Changez's views? Why or why not? Why did you find it easier or more in alignment with your philosophies to secure dual citizenship in Britain versus America? You have stated in other interviews (here at B&N also) that you have great fondness with America and Americans; but this novel did not reflect that. Why did you portray the hero of the novel in the way that you did given your professed views elsewhere? Did you feel that you were speaking "safely" through your character? How do you agree and/or disagree with that idea?

Question 3: Didn't Changez exhibit reverse profiling when he suspected that the American is on a mission of some sort (CIA, operative, undercover agent). The American was singled out possibly for having a certain bearing (I am sure you mean build). How do you feel about racial profiling here and abroad considering what has transpired on 9/11? Doesn't the American have some reason to be suspicious or wary given the global climate and considering he is in Pakistan which may be hostile to him just because he is American. It seems to me that I would be suspicious if a man came up to me sporting a beard and asking questions if I were in Pakistan. I might wonder what were his motives and how safe was I in his presence? Have you personally ever encountered profiling "yourself" here in America? Have you ever been singled out because you were of a certain age and/or a certain nationality, etc.?

Question 4: How do you identify yourself? Do you see yourself as a citizen of Pakistan and England equally or do you really perceive yourself as one more than the other? If a disagreement broke up between the two, where do you think your loyalties would lie? I would imagine that this is a difficult situation to be placed in and I certainly can sympathize with the potential dilemma. Do you think that religion transcends national identity and is paramount for Muslims; so that they see themselves more as Muslim with Islamic beliefs than let's say an American, a Brit or some other country where they reside or have citizenship? How do you balance this out in your own life? I am very interested in your perspective because you said in the interview that the novel is a "mirror".

Question 5: In the interview you stated that Solomon was "doing the honor of trying to understand me". What did you mean by that? She asked if you thought that she was mistaking you for a fundamentalist? What does the word fundamentalist mean to you and how does it apply to Changez, yourself or others (of course, just from your viewpoint). She also said that she didn't know if she trusted you. Why do you think she felt that way? Did her statement make you uneasy or uncertain of how you would be perceived after writing this novel (which is a great read btw)? Why would you respond as you did, "Put that into the piece". Wasn't that a bit challenging? What were you not saying by answering that way? Were you holding back because of her perception? Was this a contentious interview for any reason or is it just the way the responses are crafted together which gives that impression?

Question 6: Given the depth of sadness, despair and tragedy which befell NYC on 9/11 and your professed love of New York (Changez professed this also), why did you respond in the way that you did? Your response was, "In much of the world, there is resentment toward America, and the notion that the superpower could be humiliated or humbled or damaged in this way is something that gives satisfaction." And then of course there is the "smile" which changes everything in the novel. I know your response was that you were personally devastated by the attacks and that suddenly a wall had come up between "your" American and Muslim worlds. Could you expand? I am not sure that I understand how the novel is an attempt to "reconnect those divided worlds"; how do you suppose that many readers do not understand or perceive what you say you intended to do? I guess I can understand and step into the mind of a Muslim like Changez and see the transformation but still not understand how you think that you are reconnecting the worlds. Simply put, that wall does exist and reasonable men all understand why. How can these walls come down and are you doing anything personally aside from this novel to breakdown those barriers? It would seem to me that you could be a wonderful catalyst if you chose to be.

Question 7: What is the Muslim view of Americans from your perspective? Is it based simply in religious ideologies which may never be fully accepted. Are you trying to become a spokesperson for the Muslim world and Pakistanis through your novel and words of Changez? Are you his inner voice? I always wonder at folks who come up with a litany of problems or issues with America and yet have been given so many opportunities here. How do you reconcile that and what solutions do you think America is ignoring in trying to resolve these problems. What solutions would you bring to the table if asked?

Question 8: By attending Harvard Law School, did you at one time entertain the possibility of becoming an American and a lawyer here in this country. Aside from being bored by law as you stated, what changed your mind about being a citizen here and residing here permanently? Did you ever fully intend to not live in Pakistan? Or were there ties that bound you to Pakistan and its ideologies and way of life?

Question 9: What was there about Camus and his writings that influenced you aside from the reason that you gave: (taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader). What did you mean by that? How do you think you implicated the reader?

Question 10: Solomon felt you silenced the American and made the Pakistani man (Changez) the sole speaker. I agree with her. You stated that here in America and especially the media it is the other way around. Have you felt silenced and do you feel Muslims are silenced or non-Americans? Are you trying to expose profiling or jumping to conclusions in your novel based upon appearances and religion? I found it hard to believe that if Changez or anyone else felt that the American was an operative that they would put themselves in harm's way by sitting across from each other. What were you thinking about that juxtaposition?

Question 11: Solomon felt as do I that America has given you and others much to be thankful for including free speech and the right to discuss your views and Changez's. Your answer intrigued me and I have to ask you about this finally. You stated that "But there are not many of us from the Muslim world who are getting heard over here. And the ones who are mostly seem to be speaking in grainy videos in caves." What is it that you want to say separate from Changez that has not been said in your novel or in the media? What American policies disturb you most that you find it necessary to "be heard" as a Muslim? How do you feel about those videos from the cave and the positions that they espouse? As an American, their message is disturbing and frightening. How do you feel about that and how would you reconcile these differences, if you could and had the power to do so?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to exchange ideas and create understanding. I will be grateful for your responses as you have time to address the above and I appreciate in advance the time you are spending with us.

Regards,

Bentley
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x-tempo
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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid

I wondered about the possible symbolism of the Philippines as the place where Changez has his change of consciousness. In other words, during the Spanish American War, the U.S. defeated the aging colonial superpower Spain and acquired its colonies, sending a seventy-five thousand-man U.S. force to suppress the independence insurrection of Emilio Aguinaldo. Mark Twain and others were opposed to this adventure in imperialism. But something interesting happened when some black troops, facing rising discrimination at home, sympathized with the Filipinos, who, as "people of color," had faced oppression at the hand of the imperialistic Spanish, and as a result there were an unusually high number of defections.

So I wonder if that's somehow related to Changez's "double-consciousness," as W.E.B. Du Bois might have called it, about representing the U.S. in an Asian country at that particular moment? It's only surprising in that Changez normally identifies himself more as a citizen of NYC than the U.S., something that would make complete sense to many New Yorkers.


I also found the Orhan Pamuk editorial, written in Oct. 2001 and published in Nov. 2001. Like the character Changez, Pamuk is from an upper-class family but in this piece, particularly the last 5 paragraphs, he describes the reaction of some in the Third World to the attack on the World Trade Center.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14763
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language

Hi,
I have a question about the languages. I suppose you write in English. If so does it feel natural and why? What is your mother tongue and how do you handle being bilingual, if that is so?

thanks
ziki
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bentley
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Re: Solomon Interview

Hello Mohsin,

One other thing that I just noticed about the New York Times article, Solomon called the interview: THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 4-15-07: QUESTIONS FOR MOHSIN HAMID; The Stranger

I found that very odd and wondered before if the interview was contentious. Why was she calling you the stranger? What was strange about you, the fact that you lived in another country now or the fact that she personally did not understand your ideologies or trust you. Or perhaps some of the statements that you made in the interview? Did she find that strange? You had lived at Princeton and in NYC for awhile so it was not like you were a "stranger in a strange land".

I kept wondering why. What is your take on the interview and the title of the piece. Did that offend you in any way and what exactly do you think she meant?
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Solomon Interview



bentley wrote:
Hello Mohsin,

One other thing that I just noticed about the New York Times article, Solomon called the interview: THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 4-15-07: QUESTIONS FOR MOHSIN HAMID; The Stranger

I found that very odd and wondered before if the interview was contentious. Why was she calling you the stranger? What was strange about you, the fact that you lived in another country now or the fact that she personally did not understand your ideologies or trust you. Or perhaps some of the statements that you made in the interview? Did she find that strange? You had lived at Princeton and in NYC for awhile so it was not like you were a "stranger in a strange land".

I kept wondering why. What is your take on the interview and the title of the piece. Did that offend you in any way and what exactly do you think she meant?




While I can't and won't speak for Mohsin, I personally interpreted the title of the interview as a direct reference to Camus'"The Stranger".
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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid (Spoiler)

Hi Bentley,

Thank you for your message and question! This is my first reply so far in this online book club, written from the departure lounge at London's Heathrow Airport! (I am on my way to India for a one-week book tour.)

First off, I would like to say that I, too, have enormous love, respect, and affection for both America and the Muslim world.

Even Changez acknowledges the shameful nature of his response to the tragedy of 9/11, and continues to long for America (and Erica) at the end of the novel.

But that said, to go to the heart of your question, Changez is not me. I was 30 in the year 2001, not 22 like Changez, and so I was much more formed as a man and as an adult -- my identity was not thrown into as catastrophic a shock as his. Moreover, I had lived 15 of my 30 years in America (inlcuding a stint of 5 years between the ages of 3 and 8), unlike a total of 4 years for Changez, and so I was basically "half American" while he was still very much foreign to the United States. In the novel, the American half of the conversation is silent; inside me it is very loud indeed.

You mentioned Hemingway, and like him I write about what I know. So I know what it is to grow up in Pakistan, to go to Princeton, to work in the New York corporate world, to leave America, to spend time in Greece, the Philippines, and Chile. I believe writing from what I know makes my writing better.

But I do not write about me. Changez allowed me to explore certain issues that troubled me, but from a standpoint that was not really mine. His is an extreme narrative in many ways, whereas I as a person tend to hold fast to the middle where I can. I could have been the best friend of Changez's older brother -- he is that close to me. But he is another man, and a product of my imagination more than my memory.

Mohsin
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Re: language

Hi Ziki,

The first languages I spoke were Urdu and Punjabi. When I was three years old, I came to America for a few years while my father did his PhD in California. One day I got lost while playing in the lawn, and my mother found me surrounded by kids, crying outside the townhouse next to ours: I had been knocking on the wrong door. After that, I didn't speak much for a month, and when I did speak again, it was only in English.

Since I began school in California, English was the language I first learned to read and write in. After this head start, even after I returned to Pakistan, English continued to be my better language, in part because I went to an American school in Lahore. Also, I stopped studying Urdu at the age of 18 when I left for college in America. I could not imagine writing a decent novel in Urdu today.

That said, being bi-lingual does affect my attitude to language, and the way I think about English. But English is, perhaps surprisingly, my "mother tongue."

Mohsin
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bentley
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Re: Solomon Interview


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:
Hello Mohsin,

One other thing that I just noticed about the New York Times article, Solomon called the interview: THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 4-15-07: QUESTIONS FOR MOHSIN HAMID; The Stranger

I found that very odd and wondered before if the interview was contentious. Why was she calling you the stranger? What was strange about you, the fact that you lived in another country now or the fact that she personally did not understand your ideologies or trust you. Or perhaps some of the statements that you made in the interview? Did she find that strange? You had lived at Princeton and in NYC for awhile so it was not like you were a "stranger in a strange land".

I kept wondering why. What is your take on the interview and the title of the piece. Did that offend you in any way and what exactly do you think she meant?




While I can't and won't speak for Mohsin, I personally interpreted the title of the interview as a direct reference to Camus'"The Stranger".




Thank you for your response PaulH. However, there was such a brief connection to Camus in the entire interview of which I have a copy that I dismissed this as a possibility. In fact, I think that Solomon was making some other connection to Hamid as being the stranger in some way and the reason why escapes me. Even if the connection to the book by Camus was the thread she used; what was the relevancy of the connection she was making. I am interested to hear what Mohsin might have to say when he has an opportunity.

Again appreciate your attempt to respond. I had in my long list of questions regarding the interview highlighted the segment of the interview dealing with Camus and believe me it was very brief.
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Re: language

Hi Mohsin,
thanks for your answer.

You learned English early on. I heard similar story: a boy (whose father was French and the whole family spoke French) became ill and ended up in a hospital where all spoke English. He stopped speaking altogether and after a couple of months (when his parents were worried pale) he started to speak fluent English; he was four years old.

ziki
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facts and fiction



Mohsin_Hamid wrote:But I do not write about me.




If you wanted to do so I bet you would write a memoir.
:smileyhappy:
ziki
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bentley
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Re: Solomon Interview


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:
Hello Mohsin,

One other thing that I just noticed about the New York Times article, Solomon called the interview: THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 4-15-07: QUESTIONS FOR MOHSIN HAMID; The Stranger

I found that very odd and wondered before if the interview was contentious. Why was she calling you the stranger? What was strange about you, the fact that you lived in another country now or the fact that she personally did not understand your ideologies or trust you. Or perhaps some of the statements that you made in the interview? Did she find that strange? You had lived at Princeton and in NYC for awhile so it was not like you were a "stranger in a strange land".

I kept wondering why. What is your take on the interview and the title of the piece. Did that offend you in any way and what exactly do you think she meant?




While I can't and won't speak for Mohsin, I personally interpreted the title of the interview as a direct reference to Camus'"The Stranger".




Hello PaulH,

Dug up the only mention of Camus, etc. in the entire interview. Here it is:

"Your novel suggests you have read a lot of Camus, particularly ''The Fall,'' whose protagonist, not unlike yours, pours out his story to a stranger in one long philosophical rant. Yes, Camus taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader."

Now one could say as you suggested Paul that she was making another connection to another piece by Camus though not mentioned above. I find it odd that she did not reference the book's title (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). That would have been more understandable..unless she thought putting that after his name might appear to implicate that Hamid was the Fundamentalist so she decided on The Stranger...I do not have any idea and really can't see the connection. Yes, Changez was talking to a stranger but that wasn't what the interview seemed to imply was the important highlight.
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bentley
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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid (Spoiler)


Mohsin_Hamid wrote:
Hi Bentley,

Thank you for your message and question! This is my first reply so far in this online book club, written from the departure lounge at London's Heathrow Airport! (I am on my way to India for a one-week book tour.)

First off, I would like to say that I, too, have enormous love, respect, and affection for both America and the Muslim world.

Even Changez acknowledges the shameful nature of his response to the tragedy of 9/11, and continues to long for America (and Erica) at the end of the novel.

But that said, to go to the heart of your question, Changez is not me. I was 30 in the year 2001, not 22 like Changez, and so I was much more formed as a man and as an adult -- my identity was not thrown into as catastrophic a shock as his. Moreover, I had lived 15 of my 30 years in America (inlcuding a stint of 5 years between the ages of 3 and 8), unlike a total of 4 years for Changez, and so I was basically "half American" while he was still very much foreign to the United States. In the novel, the American half of the conversation is silent; inside me it is very loud indeed.

You mentioned Hemingway, and like him I write about what I know. So I know what it is to grow up in Pakistan, to go to Princeton, to work in the New York corporate world, to leave America, to spend time in Greece, the Philippines, and Chile. I believe writing from what I know makes my writing better.

But I do not write about me. Changez allowed me to explore certain issues that troubled me, but from a standpoint that was not really mine. His is an extreme narrative in many ways, whereas I as a person tend to hold fast to the middle where I can. I could have been the best friend of Changez's older brother -- he is that close to me. But he is another man, and a product of my imagination more than my memory.

Mohsin


Hello Mohsin,

Thank you very much Mohsin for your response. I can picture in my mind the Heathrow departure lounge; I have spent many hours there waiting for transfers to other intercontinental flights. I am sure that by now you are on your way to India. When you get an opportunity I look forward to your responses to the other very long list of questions that I also put together (and of course feel free to answer each question separately in that list as you have any available time). I know that you are very busy traveling around..certainly a change of pace from writing in a room for many months. Maybe more like your consulting days.

I wish you every success with your book tour in India.

Regards,

Bentley
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Solomon Interview

Dug up the only mention of Camus, etc. in the entire interview. Here it is:

"Your novel suggests you have read a lot of Camus, particularly ''The Fall,'' whose protagonist, not unlike yours, pours out his story to a stranger in one long philosophical rant. Yes, Camus taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader."

Now one could say as you suggested Paul that she was making another connection to another piece by Camus though not mentioned above. I find it odd that she did not reference the book's title (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). That would have been more understandable..unless she thought putting that after his name might appear to implicate that Hamid was the Fundamentalist so she decided on The Stranger...I do not have any idea and really can't see the connection. Yes, Changez was talking to a stranger but that wasn't what the interview seemed to imply was the important highlight.




It's probably just me, but whenever I see "The Stranger" in print, I immediately think of Camus' book. Perhaps, Solomon is referencing something completely different, but "The Stranger" does touch on the themes of cultural clashes and racial indifference.
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bentley
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Re: Solomon Interview



PaulH wrote:
Dug up the only mention of Camus, etc. in the entire interview. Here it is:

"Your novel suggests you have read a lot of Camus, particularly ''The Fall,'' whose protagonist, not unlike yours, pours out his story to a stranger in one long philosophical rant. Yes, Camus taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader."

Now one could say as you suggested Paul that she was making another connection to another piece by Camus though not mentioned above. I find it odd that she did not reference the book's title (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). That would have been more understandable..unless she thought putting that after his name might appear to implicate that Hamid was the Fundamentalist so she decided on The Stranger...I do not have any idea and really can't see the connection. Yes, Changez was talking to a stranger but that wasn't what the interview seemed to imply was the important highlight.




It's probably just me, but whenever I see "The Stranger" in print, I immediately think of Camus' book. Perhaps, Solomon is referencing something completely different, but "The Stranger" does touch on the themes of cultural clashes and racial indifference.




True, but if you have not seen the interview you might want to download it. You will see what I mean.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Solomon Interview



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
Dug up the only mention of Camus, etc. in the entire interview. Here it is:

"Your novel suggests you have read a lot of Camus, particularly ''The Fall,'' whose protagonist, not unlike yours, pours out his story to a stranger in one long philosophical rant. Yes, Camus taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader."

Now one could say as you suggested Paul that she was making another connection to another piece by Camus though not mentioned above. I find it odd that she did not reference the book's title (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). That would have been more understandable..unless she thought putting that after his name might appear to implicate that Hamid was the Fundamentalist so she decided on The Stranger...I do not have any idea and really can't see the connection. Yes, Changez was talking to a stranger but that wasn't what the interview seemed to imply was the important highlight.




It's probably just me, but whenever I see "The Stranger" in print, I immediately think of Camus' book. Perhaps, Solomon is referencing something completely different, but "The Stranger" does touch on the themes of cultural clashes and racial indifference.




True, but if you have not seen the interview you might want to download it. You will see what I mean.




I've seen the interview, Bentley. It's just what initially struck me when I saw "The Stranger" and Albert Camus mentioned in the same piece.
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bentley
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Re: Solomon Interview


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
Dug up the only mention of Camus, etc. in the entire interview. Here it is:

"Your novel suggests you have read a lot of Camus, particularly ''The Fall,'' whose protagonist, not unlike yours, pours out his story to a stranger in one long philosophical rant. Yes, Camus taught me how to have a conversation that implicates the reader."

Now one could say as you suggested Paul that she was making another connection to another piece by Camus though not mentioned above. I find it odd that she did not reference the book's title (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). That would have been more understandable..unless she thought putting that after his name might appear to implicate that Hamid was the Fundamentalist so she decided on The Stranger...I do not have any idea and really can't see the connection. Yes, Changez was talking to a stranger but that wasn't what the interview seemed to imply was the important highlight.




It's probably just me, but whenever I see "The Stranger" in print, I immediately think of Camus' book. Perhaps, Solomon is referencing something completely different, but "The Stranger" does touch on the themes of cultural clashes and racial indifference.




True, but if you have not seen the interview you might want to download it. You will see what I mean.




I've seen the interview, Bentley. It's just what initially struck me when I saw "The Stranger" and Albert Camus mentioned in the same piece.




Tht u might have it PaulH, but wasn't sure. And again you are entitled 2 your opinion and I respect your input very much. It just might be another Camus connection (and I have read Camus and The Stranger); but the interview was a very different one. I vote to leave it for Mohsin to answer when he has the time...that is my final answer (smile).
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Re: Questions for Mohsin Hamid

[ Edited ]
Hi x-tempo,

Thank you for both of those observations. Your reading of the symbolism of the Philippines is a fascinating one, and indeed better informed than my own. I certainly did consider the American colonial legacy there, but knew nothing of the incident with the black troops. I agree and have great sympathy with your point about W.E.B. Dubois, and African-American writing has served as a not inconsiderable inspiration for my novel, not least James Baldwin (particularly ANOTHER COUNTRY), but also Toni Morrison (who taught me creative writing in college).

As for the Orhan Pamuk editorial, I am grateful to you for bringing it to my attention. I had not read it before, and find that there is so much in what he said that resonates with what I am trying to say as well.

Mohsin

Message Edited by Mohsin_Hamid on 04-30-200710:36 PM

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Mohsin_Hamid
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎04-18-2007
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Re: Solomon Interview

Hello Paul H and Bentley,

I believe the title of the interview was indeed a reference to THE STRANGER by Camus. Unfortunately, there is very little to help a reader know this, as our two-hour conversation was cut down to a dozen or so extremely brief questions and answers. But Deborah Solomon asked me at one point about writers and writing that influenced my novel, and I went on at some length about Camus, especially THE STRANGER and THE FALL. Of course, in the STRANGER the protagonist is an odd sort of man in addition to being an outsider in the place he calls home, and while I must say I feel rather different for him, I can see why there are similarities the interviewer wanted to highlight. I imagine it was also done, as these things often are, just because it sounded good.

Mohsin
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