The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid has been selected as the first-year common reading for the Class of 2018. Published in 2007, this work of fiction portrays the ambitions, struggles, and shifting perspectives of a young Pakistani man whose seemingly idyllic life in Manhattan as a budding member of the American elite is rocked in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack. The book achieved a #4 ranking on the New York Times Best Seller list and received critical acclaim. "One of the novel's notable achievements is the seamless manner in which ideology and emotion, politics and the personal are brought together into a vivid picture of an individual's globalised revolt." (Andrew Anthony, The Observer)

Over the summer, the Class of 2018 will read the book and begin to reflect on the important topics raised by its narrative. Once again, we will be asking first-year students to write essays in response to the reading, based on an assignment prompt developed in partnership with the Composition Council. The essays will be available to both the book discussion leaders and Foundation Seminar instructors.


Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of the novels Moth SmokeThe Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His award-winning fiction has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into over 30 languages. His essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Yorker, Granta, and many other publications. Born in 1971 in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.