Hanif Kureishi won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel in 1990 for "The Buddha of Suburbia".
Hanif Kureishi was born and brought up in Kent. He read philosophy at King's College, London. He is the author of numerous novels, short story collections, screenplays and plays. In 1984 he wrote My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. His second film, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, was followed by London Kills Me, 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. His second novel, The Black Album, was published in 1995 and his first collection of short stories, Love in a Blue Time, was published in 1997. My Son the Fanatic, a story from that collection, was adapted for film and released in 1998. Intimacy, his third novel, was published in 1998, and was adapted for film in 2001. A second collection of short stories, Midnight All Day, was published in 2000, followed in
The characters in this collection of 10 stories‘chiefly Pakistanis transplanted to England‘are for the most part bitter, vengeful, petty, unfulfilled and vicious. They're unattractive to their fellow characters and to us. But screenwriter (My Beautiful Laundrette) and novelist (The Buddha of Suburbia) Kureishi's unadorned prose and fast plots compel a surprising amount of empathy for these small souls, along with satisfaction that we are not they. In the collection's sharpest piece, "D'Accord, Baby," moviemaker Bill discovers that his wife has slept with a French intellectual named Vincent, so he sets out to bed Vincent's daughter in an act of revenge. But after Bill satisfies her demands for rough sex, he leaves with the bittersweet revelation "that happiness was beyond him and everything was coming down, and that life could not be grasped but only lived." In the collection's longest, most cluttered story, "With Your Tongue Down My Throat," a young woman meets the half-sister who has garnered her father's devotion and then embarks on a wild Pakistani adventure that blows the lid off her sibling's demure facade. In these and the other stories, sordid behavior is never more than a page away, as the wry wit of Kureishi's mischievous fiction enlivens a series of airless, empty lives. (Nov.)
This collection of ten short stories by the author of the highly acclaimed My Beautiful Laundrette and other screenplays shares a common theme: a non-Westerner's sense of alienation from mainstream Western society. In some, the characters are Pakistani immigrants enduring subtle or overt racism in lower-class London. Most often, however, the narrator is a moderately successful writer living in London who indulges in drugs, meaningless sex, and exploitative relationships. Kureishi seems to extend his range in one story by getting inside the character of a streetwise young woman who goes to Pakistan to visit her wealthy father, yet the narrator turns out to be that same male persona manipulating the character. Even when touched by success, the characters are morally hollow and treat each other to petty cruelties and easy betrayals. These stories are sexually explicit, sometimes scatological, cynical, and very disturbing, yet they are not without considerable insight into human nature.‘Reba Leiding, Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, N.Y.
Laura Miller"The New York Times Book Review"[Kureishi's] got the master touch when it comes to making us feel we've been thrust into the thick of things....Kureishi's love of the world has always been the heartbeat of his work.