Hanif Kureishi

Writing the self - A biography

Ruvani Ranasinha
Search for other papers by Ruvani Ranasinha in
Current site
Google Scholar

This is the first biography of Hanif Kureishi: one of the most significant, provocative, versatile and popular British writers of his generation. He was born to an Indian migrant father and a white British mother in the London suburb of Bromley in 1954. As a mixed-raced child of empire growing up in the post-war suburbs and attending the local comprehensive school, Kureishi’s life-story is intimately bound up with a history of immigration and social change in Britain. Kureishi came to prominence with his first Oscar-nominated screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and novel The Buddha of Suburbia (1990), both of which articulated new ways of being British. Since then, he has shaped and chronicled Britain’s shifting political and sexual mores in plays, screenplays, novels, stories and journalism. This biography of Kureishi illuminates a larger story of change: the recasting of Britain in the aftermath of decolonisation. It tells the story not only of Kureishi’s life and work, but of modern Britain. Drawing on diary material from Kureishi’s newly available archive and interviews with his family, friends, lovers and collaborators, as well with the writer himself, this book sheds new light on how his life informs his work. It explores how racism but also class and education affected the young Hanif Kureishi; his involvement with the Labour Party; his complex attitude to the debates about representation raised by multiculturalism; and the way his unwavering support for Salman Rushdie after the fatwa sometimes resulted in tendentious images of British Muslims. It provides fresh perspectives on the multiple controversies that resulted from Kureishi’s incorporation of family and lovers into his literary works. Above all, this book demonstrates Kureishi’s commitment to the value of culture: not only through his own prolific production, but in his engagement with philosophy, history, music, literature and psychoanalysis.

Abstract only
Log-in for full text
  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


    • Full book download (HTML)
    • Full book download (PDF with hyperlinks)
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1236 1235 1236
Full Text Views 100 100 100
PDF Downloads 14 14 14