Questions for Mohsin Hamid

Deborah Solomon in the New York Times:

306_mohsin_photo_1Q: Your new novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” ascended to No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble best-seller list virtually the moment it was published in this country. What do you make of that? Now perhaps I can quit my job. Three days a week, I do some consulting for a little branding firm in London.

Is it fair to describe your second novel as a Muslim’s critique of American values? That’s oversimplifying. The novel is a love song to America as much as it is a critique.

I didn’t find it so loving. It takes place on a single evening at a cafe in Lahore, as a charming, well-educated Pakistani in his 20s recounts his life story to an unnamed American stranger, who seems suspicious of him. The American is acting as if the Pakistani man is a Muslim fundamentalist because of how he looks — he has a beard.

More here.