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 New York Times bestselling author Mohsin Hamid returns to ALOUD to discuss his latest novel Exit West, a visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands. Infusing the stark reality of a refugee narrative with the hopeful fantasy of a fairy tale, Exit West follows the journey of two young lovers who flee an unnamed country on the brink of civil war through a magical door that transports them to other places. A profound exploration of immigration and the universal human need to search for a better world, Pakistan-based author Hamid discusses this timely story with Viet Thanh Nguyen, a MacArthur Award-winning novelist who has also written eloquently about the refugee experience.

Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of four novels, Moth SmokeThe Reluctant FundamentalistHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Exit West, and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations. His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into over thirty-five languages. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.


Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Recently he has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, and is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Book Cover, Exit West (Italian edition)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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