What is Suprose?

Welcome to Suprose.

Why Su-prose? "Su" in Sanskrit is a prefix for "good". This is a place where we will discuss and analyze prose (with a South Asian Connection) - that which is good, awesome, excellent, and maybe rant about prose that could be better.

Whether you love prose, are a prose expert, or want to learn more about prose, or to put it simply want to have anything to do with prose, this blog is for you.

Read, interact, enjoy and share...

Search This Blog

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

“The form the novel, with the narrator and his audience both acting as characters, allowed me to mirror the mutual suspicion with which America and Pakistan (or the Muslim world) look at one another’” says Mohsin Hamid.
Hamid is author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a novel which is written as a monologue, a very challenging style since the author has to guarantee credibility while safeguarding against tedium. It’s stimulating, unsettling prose and surprise ending are thought provoking and evocative.
Hamid’s second novel draws upon the author’s own experiences in America and is the story of Changez who is living an immigrant’s dream of America. He is at the top of his class in Princeton and is snapped up by the elite evaluation firm of Underwood Samson. What drive him are the energy of New York City and the budding romance with a rich classmate, the elegant and beautiful Erica whom he gets close to during a summer vacation in Greece. With Erica, Changez has the promise of entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.
In the wake of September 11, Changez’s world is turned upside down. Tables are turned on him. His position in his adopted city is abruptly reversed. His relationship with Erica is eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. Changez starts questioning his own identity. Ethnic profiling and external influences unearth allegiances more fundamental than money, power and maybe even love.
A few years later, Changez eloquently relates his American experiences to an American man he meets at a café in Lahore. The American mans visit to Pakistan could very well do with recent Anti-American activities. Is this a conversation between a terrorist and a spy? Changez, from a successful, slick and well settled professional in New York to the bearded, traditionally dressed, vaguely menacing stranger in Lahore accompanies the unnamed American man to the latter’s hotel, building the climax with skilled suspense and trepidation.
Hamid elucidates, “The Pakistani narrator wonders: is this just a normal guy or is he a killer out to get me? The American man who is his audience wonders the same. And this allows the novel to inhabit an interior emotional world much like the exterior political world in which it will be read. The form of the novel is an invitation, which if the reader accepts, will in turn implicate the reader, because the reader will be called upon to judge the novel’s outcome and shape it’s ending.”

Reviewed by Visi Tilak

No comments:

Post a Comment