The Body and Other Stories

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ISBN 9780571209729 Format Hardback
9780571209729
Paperback
Published 04/11/2002 Length 272 pages
272

About Book

The centrepiece of Hanif Kureishi's brilliant collection of fiction is a novella that delves into the fascinating concept of personal identity, and the extent to which this is rooted in our physical being. The Body is the narrative of middle-aged playwright Adam, who is amazed to be offered the chance to trade in his decrepit flesh for a much younger and more pleasing model. He elects to take up this offer for a limited six-month period, as a vacation from corporeal reality, whereupon he will return to his old life. His brain is duly extracted and transplanted, his consciousness transposed, and his youth restored. He then embarks on an odyssey of physical hedonism, and winds up as a handyman on a Greek island commune where spiritual and physical harmony are vigorously pursued. But in this seeming idyll, the responsibilities Adam thought he had sloughed off now begin to come home to him. Sinister forces are pursuing him, wanting to take possession of 'his' body, and he is loath to relinquish it . . .
The centrepiece of Hanif Kureishi's brilliant collection of fiction is a novella that delves into the fascinating concept of personal identity, and the extent to which this is rooted in our physical being. The Body is the narrative of middle-aged playwright Adam, who is amazed to be offered the chance to trade in his decrepit flesh for a much younger and more pleasing model. He elects to take up this offer for a limited six-month period, as a vacation from corporeal reality, whereupon he will return to his old life. His brain is duly extracted and transplanted, his consciousness transposed, and his youth restored. He then embarks on an odyssey of physical hedonism, and winds up as a handyman on a Greek island commune where spiritual and physical harmony are vigorously pursued. But in this seeming idyll, the responsibilities Adam thought he had sloughed off now begin to come home to him. Sinister forces are pursuing him, wanting to take possession of 'his' body, and he is loath to relinquish it . . .
  • About Hanif Kureishi

    Hanif Kureishi was born and brought up in Kent. He read philosophy at King's College, London. In 1981 he won the George Devine Award for his plays Outskirtsand Borderline, and in 1982 he was appointed Writer-in-Residence at the Royal Court Theatre. In 1984 he wrote My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. His second screenplay Sammyand Rosie Get Laid (1987) was followed by London Kills Me (1991) which he also directed. The Buddha of Suburbia won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel in 1990 and was made into a four-part drama series by the BBC in 1993. His version of Brecht's Mother Courage has been produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. His second novel, The Black Album, was published in 1995. With Jon Savage he edited The Faber Book of Pop (1995).

    His first collection of short stories, Love in a Blue Time, was published in 1997. His story My Son the Fanatic, from that collection, was adapted for film and released in 1998. Intimacy, his third novel, was published in 1998, and a film of the same title, based on the novel and other stories by the author, was released in 2001 and won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. His play Sleep With Me premièred at the Royal National Theatre in 1999. His second collection of stories, Midnight All Day, was published in 2000. Gabriel's Gift, his fourth novel, was published in 2001. The Body and Seven Stories and Dreaming and Scheming, a collection of essays, were published in 2002.

    His screenplay The Mother was directed by Roger Michell and released in 2003. In 2004 he published his play When The Night Begins and a memoir, My Ear At His Heart. A second collection of essays, The Word and the Bomb, followed in 2005. His screenplay Venus was directed by Roger Michell in 2006. His novel Something to Tell You was published in 2008.

    In July 2009 his adaptation of his novel, The Black Album, opened at the National Theatre, prior to a nation-wide tour. In 2010 his Collected Stories were published.

    He has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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