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With both Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid and India’s Arundhati Roy releasing their highly-appreciated books last year, the two are now in the list of five finalists announced by the coveted National Book Critics Circle of the US for the 2017 awards for fiction.

While Arundhati has been named for her popular book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Mohsin made the cut for Exit West, which deals with the issues of emigration and refugee crisis in the current era.

Mohsin Hamid – whose book The Reluctant Fundamentalist was turned into a film starring Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson, released Exit West last year owing to the situation of confusion around refugees around the world, whereas Arundhati Roy released her much-awaited book to strong reviews. Both books are now competing with Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour, Joan Silber’s Improvement, and Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward for the prize.

The National Book Critics Circle Awards are considered among the most prestigious in American literary awards; especially the sole prizes bestowed by a jury of over 1,000 working critics and book review editors.

The awards will also be given in autobiography, biography, poetry and criticism categories, and will be presented on March 15 at the New School in New York City.