5 December 1954 |
Bromley, London, England
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, novelist, film director|
|Alma mater||King's College London|
|Period||1976 – present|
|Literary movement||Postcolonial literature|
Hanif Kureishi, CBE (born 5 December 1954) is an English playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, novelist and short story writer. The themes of his work have touched on topics of race, nationalism, immigration, and sexuality. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Kureishi was born in South London to a Pakistani father, and an English mother (Audrey Buss). His father, Rafiushan, was from a wealthy Madras family, most of whose members moved to Pakistan after the Partition of British India in 1947. After his parents married, the family settled in Bromley where Kureishi was born.
He attended Bromley Technical High School and studied for A levels at Bromley College of Technology. While at this college he was elected as Student Union President (1972) and some of the characters from his semi-autobiographical work The Buddha of Suburbia are from this period. He went on to spend a year studying philosophy at Lancaster University before dropping out. Later he attended King's College London and took a degree in philosophy.
He wrote My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985, a screenplay about a gay Pakistani-British boy growing up in 1980s London for a film directed by Stephen Frears. It won the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
1991 saw the release of the feature film titled London Kills Me, written and directed by Kureishi.
His novel Intimacy (1998) revolved around the story of a man leaving his wife and two young sons after feeling physically and emotionally rejected by his wife. This created some controversy as Kureishi had recently left his own partner (the editor and producer Tracey Scoffield) and two young sons; it was assumed to be at least semi-autobiographical. In 2000/2001 the novel was adapted to a movie Intimacy by Patrice Chéreau, which won two Bears at the Berlin Film Festival: a Golden Bear for Best Film and a Silver Bear for Best Actress (Kerry Fox). It was controversial for its explicit sex scenes. The book was translated into Persian by Niki Karimi in 2005.
His family have accused him of exploiting them with thinly disguised references in his work; Kureishi has denied the claims. His sister Yasmin has accused him of selling her family "down the line". She wrote, in a letter to The Guardian, that if her family's history had to become public, she would not stand by and let it be "fabricated for the entertainment of the public or for Hanif's profit". She says that his description of her family's working class roots are fictitious. Their grandfather was not "cloth cap working class", their mother never worked in a shoe factory, and their father, she says, was not a bitter old man.
Yasmin takes up issues with her brother not merely for his thinly disguised autobiographical references in his first novel, The Buddha of Suburbia, but also for the image of his own past that he portrays in newspaper interviews. She wrote: "My father was angry when The Buddha of Suburbia came out as he felt that Hanif had robbed him of his dignity, and he didn't speak to Hanif for about a year."
Kureishi's drama The Mother was adapted to a movie by Roger Michell, which won a joint First Prize in the Director’s Fortnight section at Cannes Film Festival. It showed a cross-generational relationship with changed roles: a seventy-year-old English lady and grandmother (played by Anne Reid) who seduces her daughter's boyfriend (played by Daniel Craig), a thirty-year-old craftsman. Explicit sex scenes were shown in realistic drawings only, thus avoiding censorship.
His latest novel, Something to Tell You, was published in 2008. His 1989 novel The Black Album, adapted for the theatre, was performed at the National Theatre in July and August 2009.
In May 2011, he was awarded the second Asia House Literature Award on the closing night of the Asia House Literary Festival where he discussed his Collected Essays (Faber).
In 2013, Kureishi lost his life savings—intended to cover "the ups and downs of being a writer"—in a suspected fraud.
Awards and honours
- 2008 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- 2010 PEN/Pinter Prize
- 2013 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts at The Asian Awards.
List of works
- 1990 The Buddha of Suburbia. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1995 The Black Album. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1998 Intimacy. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2001 Gabriel's Gift. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2003 The Body. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2008 Something to Tell You. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1997 Love in a Blue Time London: Faber and Faber.
- 1999 Midnight All Day. London: Faber and Faber.
Plays and screenplays
- 1988 Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1991 London Kills Me. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1996 My Beautiful Laundrette and other writings. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1997 My Son The Fanatic. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1999 Hanif Kureishi Plays One. London: Faber and Faber.
- 1999 Sleep With Me. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2002 Collected Screenplays Volume I. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2003 The Mother. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2007 Venus. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2009 The Black Album (adapted from the novel). London: Faber and Faber.
- 2002 Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics
- 2004 My Ear at His Heart. London: Faber and Faber.
- 2005 Word And The Bomb . London: Faber and Faber.
- 1995 The Faber Book of Pop. London: Faber and Faber.
Critical works about Kureishi
- Moore-Gilbert, Bart. Hanif Kureishi (Contemporary World Writers). Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001.
- Ranasinha, Ruvani. Hanif Kureishi (Writers and Their Work). Devon: Northcote House Publishers Ltd, 2002.
- Thomas, Susie (ed). Hanif Kureishi (Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism). Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
- Buchanan, Bradley. Hanif Kureishi (New British Fiction). Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
- 1985 My Beautiful Laundrette
- 1987 Sammy and Rosie Get Laid
- 1991 London Kills Me (and director)
- 1993 The Buddha of Suburbia (television miniseries, based on the novel)
- 1997 My Son the Fanatic (based on his own short story of the same title)
- 1999 Mauvaise passe (fr) (aka The Escort, aka The Wrong Blonde) (with Michel Blanc)
- 2003 The God of Small Tales (short) (with Akram Khan)
- 2003 The Mother (adapted from the play)
- 2006 Venus
- 2007 Weddings and Beheadings (2007)
- 2013 Le Week-End
Story basis only
- The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. 5 January 2008. The Times. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- The New York Times, 10 Aug 2008
- Interview with Hanif Kureishi, The Book Show, Episode 18, Sky Arts.
- Biography of Hanif Kureishi at Postcolonial Studies Website of English Department of Emory University
- Pg 8. Nahem Yousaf. Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia: a reader's guide
- "Author's Sister Writes Next Chapter in Kureishi Family Feud". Poets & Writers. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- Oxfam: Ox-Tales[dead link]
- "Diplomat Magazine". Diplomat Magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Author Hanif Kureishi loses life savings to suspected fraud". 3 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- B. J. Moore-Gilbert (2001). Hanif Kureishi. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-5535-5.
- "Winners at the Asian Awards". Bollyspice.com. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- List of authors
- List of English novelists
- List of novelists
- List of playwrights
- List of short story writers
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Hanif Kureishi|
- Kureishi's website
- Hanif Kureishi at British Council: Literature
- Hanif Kureishi at the Internet Movie Database
- Hanif Kureishi biography and credits at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Faber and Faber - UK publisher of Hanif Kureishi
- Waraich, Omar. When Bombs Speak Louder Than Words, Interview with Hanif Kureishi. The Daily Star, Beirut -International Herald Tribune 28 January 2006
- "In Conversation: Hanif Kureishi with Hirsh Sawhney". The Brooklyn Rail, July/Aug 2006
- Audio interview with Hanif Kureishi from open2.net
- Audio: Hanif Kureishi in conversation on the BBC World Service discussion show The Forum
- About "My Son The Fanatic" Interpretations of and more background information on the short story.
- Illustrated web article on Kureishi's Buddha of Suburbia
- Reference to family controversy