By Anne Brice, Berkeley News | SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
Imagine a reality where migration didn’t involve a journey, and instead, anyone could simply walk through a door and be in another country. That’s what author Mohsin Hamid does in Exit West, his 2017 novel that tells the story of two characters — Saeed and Nadia — who meet and fall in love as their country breaks out in a civil war. After discovering that magic doors are popping up throughout their city that could transport them to a different country, the couple decide to leave their home and forge a new life together in an unknown place.
As part of On the Same Page, a program of UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science, all 8,700 incoming first-year and transfer students got a copy of the novel to read over the summer, so when they started at Berkeley in the fall, albeit virtually, they would have something in common to talk about — socially, in classes and at events designed to explore the book’s themes.