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Skidmore College
2018 Summer Reading
First-Year Experience

Questions to Ponder

  1. What does the author achieve by declining to name the country that Nadia and Saeed are from? Why, in contrast, does he name other locations in the novel?  In what ways are these named locations significant?
  2. The movements of Nadia and Saeed are determined by secret passageways known only to migrants. We know that such passageways do not actually exist, so why does Hamid include them in a novel that is otherwise realistic?  In what ways might they relate to your entrance into the Skidmore community?
  3. Exit West is simultaneously a love story and a story about refugees in crisis. Do these two aspects work well together, in your opinion?  How might each thread help us understand the other?