Discontent and its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York, and London
In both his internationally bestselling fiction and his wide-ranging journalism, Mohsin Hamid has earned a reputation as a "master critic of the modern global condition" (Foreig ...more
These essays were much more than that. Hamid surprised and delighted me with his political section at the end in which he shares with ...more
The essays are divided into topics of life, art and politics. In the first you learn about Hamid, his "water lily life" and how he chose to return to Pakistan. Having read this novels the essays on art were of interest. He ...more
Here he covers a wide range of subjects in his quiet, thoughtful style, including how he approached his writing and what he aimed to achieve. An added bonus was I learnt a fa ...more
Oddly speaking, the articles narrated in the book are a good relatable read ... Atleast for me!! It's like a lot of times what Hamid is writing or feeling is exactly what I felt in that moment in my life (aka Pakistan's colourful history) !!
But in the end, it is not possible to champion national greatness and human equality at the same time. p141
The message is clear. Speaking out against the problem means you become the problem, so you had better be quiet. p145
I am glad that MH refuses to be quiet and look forward to his next effort.
After reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a novel that gripped me in the same way Albert Camus had (Hamid’s novel is written in a similar 2nd-person style as Camus’s The Fall), I became an admirer of Mohsin Hamid’s fiction. However, I was never fortunate enough to encounter any of his nonfiction writing. Finding Discontent and Its Civilization (a pun on a canonical work by Sigmund Freud that’s still inflicted on first-year college students t ...more
GLOBALIZATION IS A brutal phenomenon. It brings us mass displacement, wars, terrorism, unchecked financial capitalism, inequality, xenophobia, climate change. But if globalization is capable of holding out any f ...more
I've read Mohsin Hamid's debut fiction novel 'Moth Smoke' previously.
Honestly speaking, I couldn't really get into the story back then. There were only a few elements that I enjoyed.
'Discontent and its Civilizations' explains Hamid's real life encounters. He has described how his life has changed while travelling from Lahore to NY, London and then back to Lahore. During this journey, Hamid has seen immense changes in his own perspective and persona ...more
Hamid writes with a fluid, dynamic tone; his writing is full of humanity and character and his stories and opinions kept me engaged despite my novice understanding of political relationships in the East. I happen to wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments voiced in h ...more
The book is a collection of articles and writings of Hamid which have been published over the period of late 90's to the 00's, and when read together act like a biography of the author and his observations about religion, geo-politics, fatherhood, and everything else under the sun. The individual chapters are sho ...more
It's a compact volume of pieces, only about 200 pages, and the essays the ...more
I began reading this book without any pre-conceived notions or ideas as I wanted to just bask in his words and ideologies. I didn’t want my own thoughts to overlap his and ...more
“The United States needs to address this contradiction. It seeks to stand for national greatness and human equality. Yet its greatness is in part built upon the denial of the equality of others outside its borders” (141).
Learned a bit from another perspective and how small things stick wi ...more
Hamid is focused on his native Pakistan, looking at the young country and its relation to the world from New York, London and Lahore, having called all three places home in the fifteen years that span this collection. He begins with an anecdote about a ...more
To tell the truth, the only reason I picked up this book in the first place was because the author was famous for having written The Reluctant Fundamentalist which went on to become a major motion picture. Otherwise, a book with a title like that would have been easily glossed over.
The book has been divided by essays into three parts - Life, Art and Politics. It's difficult to choose which part I liked the most. But yes, I found the first two parts more easy to...more
His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thir ...more