I was starting to worry I’d never read another book I loved as much as Silk. I was telling a good friend about it; they listened, they nodded, and after the Zoom call ended, a gift pinged on the iPad: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.
In a surprisingly low word count, Exit West takes carries us on a stream of consciousness that begins in an unnamed city devastated by civil war, and continues around the world. It’s hard to lump this into any particular genre: definitely literary fiction, with a magical realism element that blends so perfectly that you hardly notice it’s there.
It’s one of the most beautifully crafted books I’ve ever come across; long, flowing poetic sentences that start in a character’s head then spill out into a world coming to terms with itself becoming much much smaller.
Weirdly though, there isn’t much dialogue; the writer relies on the dizzying prose to create the action, build the tension, explore the characters … and even without dialogue the richness of the characters is something I haven’t seen since … well … Silk.
A masterpiece of magical realism that’s well worth reading.