Mohsin Hamid was born in 1971 in Lahore. He grew up mostly in Pakistan, but spent part of his childhood in California and returned to America to attend Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He then worked in New York and London as a management consultant before returning to Lahore to pursue writing full time.
His first novel, Moth Smoke, told the story of an ex-banker and heroin addict in contemporary Lahore. It was published in 14 languages and became a cult hit in Pakistan, where it was made into a telefilm. It was also the winner of a Betty Trask Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.
His second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, recounted a Pakistani man's abandonment of his high-flying life in New York. Published in over 30 languages, it became a million-copy international bestseller. It won the Ambassador Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Asian American Literary Award and the South Bank Show Award for Literature, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The Guardian named it one of the books that defined the decade. A 2013 film of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair starred Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland.
His third novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, was a love story and an exploration of mass-urbanization and global economic transformation—in the apparent guise of a self-help book. It won the Tiziano Terzani Prize, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize and Germany's International Literary Award, and was published to exceptional critical acclaim. In the words of Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times, "With How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation's most inventive and gifted writers."
His fourth novel, Exit West, was released in 2017 and debuted on The New York Times bestseller list. It was a finalist for the Booker Prize, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2017 by the New York Times Book Review, and won the L.A. Times Book Prize for Fiction and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Chicago Public Library selected Exit West as the 2020 One Book, One Chicago book.
Mohsin Hamid writes regularly for The New York Times, The Guardian and The New York Review of Books. He has lectured at dozens of universities around the world, from Stanford and Yale to the London School of Economics and the National University of Singapore. In 2013, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the world's 100 Leading Global Thinkers.