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Collected Essays: 1986–2011

Hanif Kureishi

A new paperback edition of Hanif Kureishi’s wide-ranging and thought-provoking essays.

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This collection begins in the early 1980s with The Rainbow Sign, which was written as the Introduction to the screenplay of My Beautiful Laundrette. It allowed Kureishi to expand upon the issues raised by the film: race, class, sexuality – issues that were provoked by his childhood and family situation. In the ensuing decades, he has developed these initial ideas, especially as the issue of Islam’s relation to the West has become one of the burning issues of the time.

Kureishi shows how flexible a form the essay can be – as intellectual as Sontag or Adam Phillips, as informal and casual as Max Beerbohm, as cool and minimalist as Joan Didion, or as provocative as Norman Mailer. As with his fictional work, these essays display Kureishi’s ability to capture the temper of the times.

Critic Reviews

Tremendously likeable . . . and so compellingly written . . . Displays the same crisp intelligence, balmy humour and consistently lucid prose that characterise the best of his fiction.

The Times
Critic Reviews

Vibrant . . . Portrays Kureishi’s journey from aspiring writer in Bromley in the ’60s to all-round man of letters.

Critic Reviews

These essays tackle politics, cultural changes and the role of the writer and reveal Kureishi’s knack for argument . . . Both provocative and convincing.

The Economist

Hanif Kureishi grew up in Kent and studied philosophy at King’s College London. His novels include The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel, The Black Album, Intimacy and The Last Word. His screenplays include My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and Le Week-End. He…

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