Kate Hudson as Erica in the filmatization of The Reluctant Fundamentalist


Erica is Changez's love interest. She is a wealthy Manhattan socialite with a terrific social life. Erica clearly represents America

As a character

Erica is an aspiring young writer. She grew up in a wealthy Manhattan upper class family. She is a popular girl, and is found in center of attention at all types of social gatherings. Erica Meets Changez in Greece, when he is vacating there with a group of Princeton graduates. They get an instant connection, but dont begin a relationship. This might be due to her childhood friend and later on husband Chris, eho died from tumor shortly before the story starts. This affects the story greatly, as it stop Erica from going into a relationsship with Changez both physically and emitionally. As mentioned earlier. Erica symbolizes America. As her name suggests, Erica represents America, specifically the part of America that is detached from reality and self-absorbed. Therefore,Changez’s relationship with her corresponds to his relationship with America as a nation. Just as Changez is incompatible with Erica, so is he at odds with America’s oblivious, self-serving foreign policy.


Erica undoubtedly goes through some major changes throughout the book. When we are first introduced to Erica, she seems like this perfect girl. She is a wealthy, thin and athletic woman, that ends up commiting suicide. How does that happen? As you already know, Erica has profound grief over the death of her childhood and  then young adulthood lover, Chris. She has suffered depression since his death,  but in the period when she meets Changez seems to be making a recovery. The  9/11 attacks, however, are a catalyst for a relapse into her depression. She is  admitted into a psychiatric clinic and later disappears, presumed to have committed suicide by drowning.