Mohsin Hamid: I did not want to price myself out of my own dream

Mohsin hamidDevin Leonard interviews novelist Mohsin Hamid on his Latest novel and McKinsey past in Bloomberg Businessweek

You had a successful career in business before you published your first novel. How did you end up as a writer? 
I stumbled into consulting. I didn’t know how you could make a living trying to write fiction. So I went to law school and had this enormous debt, so I interviewed for a job at McKinsey.

What did your colleagues at McKinsey think when you published Moth Smoke in 2000?
I was working on it in the evenings and on weekends. People were quite excited and supportive. I pitched this notion of working nine months a year and writing three. And I did that for a few years at McKinsey.

Why did you go back to Pakistan to be a writer?
I always thought I was going to wind up in Pakistan. I was afraid that if I kept walking down the path at McKinsey, that I would become a partner and start earning a lot of money and price myself out of my own dream.

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