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Books Vs. Movies: How Will “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” Fare On The Big Screen?

Mohsin Hamid

2008 Anisfield-Wolf award winner Mohsin Hamid’s groundbreaking work, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is getting the Hollywood treatment. The story follows a young Pakistani as he grapples with life after 9/11. Starring Riz Ahmed as Changez, the film will also feature Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, and Kiefer Sutherland. Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding) will direct.

There’s always a murmur when beloved books and characters make the transition to the big screen. Devoted readers will either skip the film altogether or spend a great amount of time picking it apart in comparison to the book. But as The Reluctant Fundamentalist makes its leap into theaters, it’s worth noting that Hamid took it upon himself to create a novel that was especially inviting for readers to create their own vibrant connection to the story. As he wrote earlier this year in a piece for The Guardian:

“I began to wonder if the power of the novel, if its distinctive feature among contemporary mass-storytelling forms, was rooted in the enormous degree of co-creation it requires on the part of its audience. (After all, when you watch a film or TV show, what you see looks like what it represents; when you read a novel, what you see is black ink on pulped wood, and it is you who projects scenes on to the screen of your imagination.)

If the novel was special because it allowed writers and readers to create jointly, to dance together, then it seemed to me that I should try to write novels that maximized this possibility of opening themselves up to being read in different ways, to involving the reader as a kind of character, indeed as a kind of co-writer.”

 The Reluctant Fundamentalist is due to hit theaters in 2013.

  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards | VIDEO: Mohsin Hamid Talks About The Film Adaption Of His Book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist

    February 1, 2012

    […] In advance of the film adaption of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, take a look back at Hamid’s talk on his book and what it means for it to be turned into a film with someone like noted director Mira Nair.  […]

  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards | While We’re Waiting For The Movie Adaptation Of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”…

    May 16, 2012

    […] can hear about Mohsin Hamid’s role in getting the project to the big screen. Are you as excited for the adaptation as we are? This entry was posted in Blog and tagged 2008, […]

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