UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Critically-acclaimed Novelist Mohsin Hamid in conversation with Pico Iyer on Friday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific

This virtual event is available for ticket holders to replay for one week


  • UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Mohsin Hamid
  • Speaking with Pico
  • Bestselling author of Exit West, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Moth Smoke
  • Winner of the Betty Trask Award and twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
  • This conversation with Pico Iyer will be followed by a moderated Q&A
  • Ticket holders will be able to replay this event for one week
  • Friday, April 16 / 7:00 p.m. Pacific / Virtual
  • $10 General Public and FREE for UCSB Students (registration required)
  • Tickets/Info: (805) 893-3535, www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu

▶ ▶ ▶ Editors/Reviewers: Please include the full name of UCSB Arts & Lectures in all media coverage, including reviews.


“Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines.” 

The New York Times


UCSB Arts & Lectures presents critically-acclaimed novelist Mohsin Hamid in conversation with Pico Iyer on Friday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific. Known for his ingeniously crafted literary works, the Pakistan-born novelist Mohsin Hamid has quickly emerged as a clarion voice of his generation. The internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Moth Smoke, he takes on ethnic identity, class disparity and mass-urbanization in his bold, inventive work. He is the winner of the Betty Trask Award, a Pen/Hemingway Award finalist and has been twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, most recently for Exit West.

This conversation with Pico Iyer will be followed by a moderated Q&A.




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 (2000), 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 (2007), 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 (2013), 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.”

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. His fourth novel, Exit West, is a New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.


Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957. He won a King’s Scholarship to Eton and then a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was awarded a Congratulatory Double First with the highest marks of any English Literature student in the university. In 1980 he became a teaching fellow at Harvard, where he received a second master’s degree, and in subsequent years he has received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters.

Since 1982 he has been a full-time writer, publishing 15 books, translated into 23 languages, on subjects ranging from the Dalai Lama to globalism, from the Cuban Revolution to Islamic mysticism. They include such long-running sellers as Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul, The Open Road and The Art of Stillness. He has also written the introductions to more than 70 other books, as well as liner and program notes, a screenplay for Miramax and a libretto. At the same time he has been writing up to 100 articles a year for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, the Financial Times and more than 250 other periodicals worldwide.

His four talks for TED have received more than 10 million views so far. Since 1992 Iyer has spent much of his time at a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California, and most of the rest in suburban Japan.


Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A&L annually presents more than a hundred events, from critically-acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public. 


Mohsin Hamid is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. 

Supporting Sponsor: Siri & Bob Marshall

Speaking with Pico Series Sponsors: Dori Pierson Carter & Chris Carter, Martha Gabbert, and Laura Shelburne & Kevin O’Connor 

House Calls Media Sponsors: Santa Barbara Independent, KCRW, Voice Magazine, Noozhawk

Most House Calls events are hour-long programs. Running time: approx. 60 min.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and FREE for UCSB students (registration required)

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges our Community Partners the Natalie Orfalea Foundation & Lou Buglioli for their generous support of the 2020-2021 season.

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