Mohsin Hamid is a novelist best known for his second novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which explored contemporary identity issues and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and is presently being made into a movie. His earlier Moth Smoke exposed the decadence of the elite of Lahore. He also contributes op-ed articles to the daily Press here and overseas. He lives between Lahore, where he was born, and other places, including New York and London.
-PAKISTANI CONTEMPORARY FICTION WRITINGS
You’ve made it a point to attend the Karachi Literature Festival all three years. How does it feel to be a part of an event that seems to be getting bigger and better with each passing year?
It’s great, obviously. I don’t know what the attendance figures are, but the big change is people seem to be getting used to it. That’s good because people who’re interested in writing, reading, and reviewing or love literature generally all get together. It’s becoming a part of the ecosystem, which is good.
Who were you most looking forward to meeting here this year?
A lot of my friends are writers who I only get to see at events like this so it’s great to get together with all of them.
Xpozé recently ran an interview with Meesha Shafi who’s a part of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the movie. How was the experience of having one of your books turned into a major film project?
So far so good. The filming is done; it’s now in editing and post portion. Hopefully it’ll be out in the winter. I’m sure Meesha and the rest of the cast have all done a good job.
Are you glad that it was Mira Nair who picked it up and not somebody else?
Of course I’m glad it was Mira Nair, but then I haven’t seen it yet, so…
When can we expect to get our hands on the next Mohsin Hamid title?
I’m very superstitious: I never talk about my future projects!
Any comments on Xpozé turning you into a cover boy with Kamila Shamsie and Danial Moinuddin last year?
It was definitely a surprise! I didn’t know those pictures were going to end up on the cover of a magazine! It was a nice surprise.