Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mohsin Hamid's most influential book

Mohsin Hamid, author of the recently-released The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was asked about the book that most influenced his life or career as a writer. His response:
Toni Morrison's Jazz. Not because it is her best book, nor because it is my favorite book, but because it was the first book of hers I read and also the book I was reading when she read me. I wrote the first draft of my first novel, Moth Smoke, for a creative writing class with her in my final semester at Princeton. When she read my words aloud I understood something about writing, about the power of orality, of cadence and rhythm and the spoken word, that unlocked my own potential for finding voices and shaped everything I have written since. This book opened a door that I walked through without ever, in fourteen years, looking back.
In the same interview, Hamid talked about his ten favorite books. One of his choices would certainly be on my top ten; two others quite likely would make my list as well. Read about these three books.

The Page 69 Test: Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

--Marshal Zeringue