The idea of a ban on travel to America is heartbreaking, says Mohsin Hamid

The idea of a ban on travel to America is heartbreaking, says Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid appeared on Seth Myers' late night show to talk about his latest book Exit West
15 Mar, 2017

Novelist Mohsin Hamid made it to Late Night with Seth Myers.

The writer made an appearance to promote his latest book Exit West, a story about a refugee couple's attempted journey to safety. Hamid explains what makes this story different is how the couple is portrayed before they are forced to move to another country.

"People who move are just like us, it's the part where they move that's different. But before that and after that, they're people like us."

With a topic like this and Hamid's Pakistani background, the conversation quickly shifted to the travel ban on Muslims US president Donald Trump wants to implement.

"It's based on a hysterical level of fear," says Hamid.

"What's happened now is we've been made so frightened of people and the travel ban is an example of that. Let's just take a whole bunch of people and treat them as though they are all this horrible frightening thing. And the process to throws away our commitment to equality and decency."

Hamid explains how many Pakistani's feel about the racism that is on the rise with Trump's presidency.

"For people like me, it's a sort of heartbreak. I've lived 17 years in the US. The idea of not being able to come is really heartbreaking."

The Reluctant Fundamentalist author believes this highlights the importance of storytelling in this time.

"Storytelling is really important. The reason why we have storytelling is because we don't want to be bound by what was and what is. We have to imagine what could be. And right now there's this nostalgic political force where we're looking back. 'Make America great again.'"

"We have to imagine new futures and I think what story tellers could do is begin to imagine new ways of being and new places we can all go to," he says.