- € 14,99
From the internationally bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change
One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders's father and Oona's mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew.
'Gorgeously crafted . . . The Last White Man concludes on a note of hope, a door jarred open just enough to let transcendence pour through' O, the Oprah Magazine
'The electric premise, borrowed from Kafka's The Metamorphosis, looks set to update a classic to make it urgently relevant' Evening Standard
Praise for Exit West
'Hamid's enticing strategy is to foreground the humanity. . . . [He] exploits fiction's capacity to elicit empathy and identification to imagine a better world.' - The New York Times Book Review
'Lyrical and urgent . . . peels away the dross of bigotry to expose the beauty of our common humanity.' - O, the Oprah Magazine
'Powerful, vivid, poignant . . . Hamid is the master' The Sunday Times
'Astonishing' Zadie Smith
'[An] exceptionally moving and powerful novel' The Guardian
On the first page of Hamid's underwhelming latest (after Exit West), a white man named Anders wakes up to find he has mysteriously "turned a deep and undeniable brown." From this Kafkaesque beginning, Hamid spins a timely if unsatisfying racial allegory in which, one after another, the white inhabitants of an unnamed country become dark-skinned. Hamid mutes the power by harnessing his plot to the dishwater-dull Anders, who works at a gym, and his equally bland girlfriend, Oona, a yoga instructor. The lack of social context is also puzzling, with the story set in an unspecified time and place largely stripped of historical and cultural detail. Hamid employs a cool, spare prose style with little dialogue, leaving the reader to feel like the action of the novel is taking place behind a wall of soundproof glass. The glass briefly shatters when white militants come for Anders, though the author quickly turns back the threat. Later, when Oona's mother, who indulges in right-wing conspiracy theories, is sickened by the sight of her white daughter in bed with dark-skinned Anders, Hamid taps the rich potential of his premise. For the most part, though, this remains stubbornly inert. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME.