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kureisha_hanifBiography Hanif Kureishi

Playwright, screenwriter, novelist and film-maker Hanif Kureishi was born in Bromley, Kent in 1954 and read philosophy at King's College, London. His first play, Soaking the Heat, was performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1976 and was followed in 1980 by The Mother Country, for which he won the Thames TV Playwright Award. In 1981 his play Outskirts won the George Devine Award and in 1982 he became Writer in Residence at the Royal Court Theatre.

His screenplay for the film My Beautiful Laundrette, directed by Stephen Frears, was nominated for an Academy Award. The film was critically acclaimed for its sensitive depiction of a homosexual relationship between a gay skinhead and a young Asian man. He also wrote the screenplays for Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and London Kills Me (1991), which he also directed. His film My Son the Fanatic was adapted from his short story included in Love in a Blue Time (1997). The film was first shown at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. His play Sleep With Me (1999) was first performed at the National Theatre in London in 1999, and was followed by When the Night Begins (2004), produced at the Hampstead Theatre in 2004.

Kureishi's first novel was the semi-autobiographical The Buddha of Suburbia, published in 1990. Karim, the novel's young hero ('an Englishman born and bred - almost'), like Kureishi, has a Pakistani father and an English mother. The novel describes Karim's struggle for social and sexual identity, a comic coming-of-age novel and a satirical portrait of race relations in Britain during the 1970s. It won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was produced by the BBC in 1993 as a four-part television series.

His second novel, The Black Album (1995), explores some of the issues facing the Muslim community living in Britain in the 1980s. Love in a Blue Time, his first collection of short stories, focuses on a series of characters working in the media.

Intimacy (1998), a novella, is a painful account of a man's decision to leave his partner and two young sons. It was produced as a film in 2001 starring Mark Rylance and Kerry Fox. His second short story collection, Midnight All Day (1999), continues to explore very personal issues about human relationships and sexual desire.

Gabriel's Gift (2001) tells the story of a 15-year-old schoolboy whose artistic skills enable him to survive the trauma of his parents' separation. Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics, a collection of Hanif Kureishi's non-fiction, including essays and diary fragments, as well as a new collection of short fiction, The Body and Other Stories, were both published in 2002. The Word and the Bomb (2005), is also a collection of non-fictional writings.

Hanif Kureishi's latest works are the play, Venus (2007), and the novel, Something to Tell You (2008). He became a CBE in 2007, in recognition of his services to literature and drama.


Borderline   Methuen, 1981

Birds of Passage   Amber Lane Press, 1983

Outskirts and Other Plays   Calder, 1983

My Beautiful Laundrette   Faber and Faber, 1986

Buddha of Suburbia   Faber and Faber, 1990

London Kills Me: Screenplay   Faber and Faber, 1991

The Black Album   Faber and Faber, 1995

The Faber Book of Pop   (editor with Jon Savage)   Faber and Faber, 1996

Love in a Blue Time   Faber and Faber, 1997

Intimacy   Faber and Faber, 1998

My Son, the Fanatic   (screenplay)   Faber and Faber, 1998

Midnight All Day   Faber and Faber, 1999

Sleep with Me   Faber and Faber, 1999

Gabriel's Gift   Faber and Faber, 2001

Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics   Faber and Faber, 2002

The Body and Other Stories   Faber and Faber, 2002

The Mother   Faber and Faber, 2003

My Ear at His Heart   Faber and Faber, 2004

When The Night Begins   Faber and Faber, 2004

The Word and the Bomb   Faber and Faber, 2005

Venus   Faber and Faber, 2007

Something to Tell You   Faber and Faber, 2008

Prizes and awards

1980   Thames Television Playwright Award   The Mother Country

1981   George Devine Award   Outskirts

1990   Whitbread First Novel Award   The Buddha of Suburbia

2007   CBE

2007   National Short Story Competition   (shortlist - 'Weddings and Beheadings')

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