Sebastian Shakespeare

Caught in the Middle

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

By

Hamish Hamilton 184pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

9/11 continues to cast a long shadow over contemporary fiction, from Jay McInerney’s The Good Life to Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children. The Reluctant Fundamentalist tackles the subject from a different perspective: that of the well-educated Pakistani who is caught between two worlds. The novel takes the form of a conversation between Changez, a bearded Pakistani university lecturer, and a nameless American he befriends in a Lahore café. A graduate of the Princeton Class of 2001, Changez has turned his back on the American Dream and returned to his homeland to advocate disengagement from the United States.

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