A Poet’s Take on Hamid’s "Exit West"

Cover of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Cover of "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid

Credit: Mohsin Hamid

Throughout the semester, Penn State Altoona students have been writing about this year’s Common Read, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. In Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen Comparative Literature 153 course, Bethany McCarl’s interaction with the novel, led her to poetry.

Bethany found poetry within the pages of Hamid’s novel and offers an explanation of her poetic process as well as her interpretation of the love between Nadia and Saeed, the novel’s protagonists, in “Lovers’ Journey in Reverse.”

For a taste of what you’ll find in Bethany’s work:

“We all have love stories of our own. Hamid’s novel reminded me of a love I had lost, but also a love I have found. It awoke the sleeping poet within me, with the natural flow of its words, and the raw, intense relationship between Nadia and Saeed. It is important to read books that make you feel. Now I will always have this novel to reopen, in case the poet inside of me falls asleep again.” (Bethany McCarl)