Somerville Public Library Announces 2018 “Somerville Reads” Book Selection

Copies of “Exit West” now available at all three library branches.

SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Public Library announces its pick for the 2018 citywide “Somerville Reads” campaign. “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid is now available at all three branches of the library, and events and book discussions are planned to begin in November.

“Exit West,” a New York Times bestselling novel that explores the forces that drive people from their homes into the uncertainty of new lands, has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Born in Lahore, Mohsin Hamid has spent half his life there and much of the rest in London and the United States.

A synopsis from Penguin Books:

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

“Exit West” follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Somerville Reads is a citywide reading initiative that encourages all Somerville residents to read and discuss the same book to promote literacy and community engagement. The month-long Somerville Reads initiative will begin in November and will continue with citywide programming through the month. During this time, the Somerville Public Library will host various intergenerational programs including a panel discussion, community building events, book clubs, and more, all related to the themes found in “Exit West.”

Copies of the book are available for check out in a variety of formats at all Somerville Public Library locations and via the Library’s online catalog at All Somerville residents are encourage to read the book anytime between now and the end of the Somerville Reads month-long initiative.

2018 marks the ninth year that the Somerville Public Library has sponsored Somerville Reads. Previous titles include “El Deafo” by Cece Bell, “The Witches” by Stacy Schiff, “The Martian” by Andy Weir, and “Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919” by Stephen Puleo.

For more information or questions about e-book and audiobook versions of the book, please call (617) 623-5000 ext. 2955. Or, visit the library’s website at:


Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or

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