Comic, dark and insightful, What Happened? is Hanif Kureishi's most recent collection of essays and fiction. No topic is too fringe or too mainstream, from social media to the ancient classics, from appraisals of David Bowie to Georges Simenon to Keith Jarrett, this is the latest literary 'event' in a unique body of work that displays Kureishi's characteristic boundless curiosity and wit. What Happened? is as much about the very fact of Kureishi’s catholic appetite for culture as his observations and insights themselves, and any new book in his oeuvre is a justification for celebration. In a wide-ranging conversation he looks back at an extraordinary writing career and forward to the work yet to come.
Hanif Kureishi is a novelist, screenwriter and film director. He is the author of eight novels, three collections of short stories and over a dozen film and theatre scrips, as well as numerous essays. In 1986 he was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of My Beautiful Laundrette. He also won the Whitbread Award for his first novel The Buddha of Suburbia and the PEN/Pinter Prize in 2010. He was awarded the C.B.E. for his services to literature, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts des Lettres in France.
No one else casts such a shrewd and gimlet eye on contemporary life. -William Boyd
To begin to write - to attempt to do anything creative, for that matter - is to ask many other questions, not only about the craft itself, but of oneself, and of life. accounts of his collaborations in film and television, and above all, exploration of how the life of the mind expresses itself in creative endeavours.
But Rafi's own shady past threatens to haunt him.
London Kills Me (1991)
A weekend in the lives of homeless Clint and his pal Muffdiver, youthful veterans of the streets of London, whose chief source of income derives from selling drugs to the wealthier denizens of Notting Hill.
With VENUS, Hanif Kureishi turns his piercing gaze onto the pains of old age. Maurice (Peter O'Toole) and Ian (Leslie Phillips) are veteran stage actors whose slow, inevitable decline is disrupted by the arrival in their lives of Ian's niece Jessie (Jodie Whittaker).
As he and his best friend Henry attempt to make the sometimes painful, sometimes comic transition to their divorced middle age, balancing the conflicts of desire and dignity, Jamal's teenage traumas make a shocking return into his present life.
Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England -- but now, in his early seventies, his reputation is fading, his book sales have dried up and his new wife has expensive tastes.
Gabriel is a fifteen-year-old North London schoolboy trying to come to terms with a new life, after the equilibrium of his family home has been shattered by the ousting of his father. But a chance meeting with a seventies rock star crystallises the turbulent emotions inside Gabriel, and helps him to recognise and engage with his rare gift .
In this astonishing collection of stories, Hanif Kureishi confirms his reputation as Britain's foremost chronicler of the loveless, the lost and the dispossessed. The characters in Midnight All Day are familiar to us all: frustrated and intoxicated, melancholic and sensitive, yet capable of great cruelty.
'I'm going to tell him to pick up his prayer mat and get out of my house.'
When Parvez's son Ali starts clearing out his bedroom, Parvez assumes he's taking drugs and selling his possessions to pay for them.
Karim desperate to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. When the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving - albeit with some rude and raucous results.
Features a Pakistani woman who has begun a new life in Paris, and an essay about the film Le Week-End, and an account of Kafka's relationship with his father. This collection ends with a bravura piece of very personal reportage about the conman who stole authors life savings.
Nearing sixty and needing to plan for his and his children's future, the author employed an accountant from a reputable firm. When the accountant recommended investing in a property scheme, he followed his advice - only to find out that the accountant was a fraudster and his entire life savings had vanished. This book tells his story.
Shahid is a clean-cut student, trying to make an impression on his college lecturer, Deedee Osgood, who gives his spirits a lift when she takes him to a naked rave party. Shahid's academic prospects are threatened by the intervention of his gangster brother Chili, who moves into Shahid's bedsit as a hideout, bringing unnecessary danger with him.
Features dreamy teenager Karim, desperate to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. When the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving - albeit with some rude and raucous results.
'It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.' Jay is leaving his partner and their two sons. As the long night before his departure unfolds, in an unforgettable, and often pitiless, reflection on their time together he analyses the joys and agonies of trying to make a life with another person.
Adam is a middle-aged playwright who accepts a tempting offer to have his mind transported into a younger body for six months. Youth restored, he embarks on an odyssey of physical hedonism, but must then face the dire consequences when he is loath to relinquish his new body...