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Marino Workshop Scheduled for January

Headshot of Mohsin Hamid with the cover of his novel Exit West

Georgetown University Library has named Exit West by British Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid as the title for this year's Marino Family International Writer’s Workshop. Hamid will speak to students in a virtual event scheduled for early January 2021.

Exit West follows the story of a young couple’s escape from their war-torn home through a chain of mysterious doors leading to foreign lands. Both fantastical and painfully relevant, Exit West explores themes of loyalty, courage, and hope in an entirely believable near future world. According to the New York Times, which named it one of the 10 Best Books of 2017, "Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines." Exit West was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2017 and won the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize and the L.A Times Book Prize for Fiction.

Founded in 1995, the Marino Workshop engages new Georgetown students in the thoughtful reading of a text by a major international author. First-year students read the selected text and complete a reflection assignment, and the Library hosts a program with the author discussing the novel and the life of writing with incoming students. Immediately following that program, faculty and staff mentors meet with students in small discussion groups and together embark on a thematic and stylistic analysis of the novel.

The Marino Workshop typically takes place during New Student Orientation as a way to introduce new students to the academic life of Georgetown. Due to the recent killings and the mounting societal concerns about racial injustice, the University will dedicate the time normally allocated to the Marino Workshop to a program addressing social justice.

The Marino Workshop, sponsored by Frederick Marino (SLL '68) and his family in honor of his father, Joseph Marino, has been rescheduled for January 2021.