What if white people woke up with dark skin? Mohsin Hamid's novel wonders.

THE LAST WHITE MAN by Mohsin Hamid, Riverhead, 192 pages, $26

More than a century ago, Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams and found himself transformed into a monstrous insect.

Mohsin Hamid’s new novel, The Last White Man, buzzes with an ironic allusion to that unsettling metamorphosis. In the opening sentence, a white man named Anders awakens one morning to discover that his skin has turned “a deep and undeniable brown.” Following Kafka’s lead, the cause of this sudden alteration remains unknown; its meaning is equally elusive. What follows sometimes feels like a curious thought experiment — or Tucker Carlson’s worst nightmare, a racist fever dream of “the great replacement theory.”

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