Hanif Kureishi

Writing the self: A biography

By Ruvani Ranasinha

Hanif Kureishi


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4739-4
  • Pages: 900
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: February 2023
  • BIC Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary, Biography: Arts & Entertainment, Biography & True Stories / Biography: general, Biography & True Stories / Biography: literary, Contemporary Literature, Literature, Biography: literary, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh


From the global successes of My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia, through to late masterpieces such as The Nothing, Hanif Kureishi is one of Britain's most popular and versatile writers.

Drawing on Kureishi's unexplored personal archive, recently acquired by the British Library, each chapter in Ruvani Ranashina's jaw-droppingly honest biography recounts a decade of the author's life, illuminating the work he produced in each period. This structure reflects the novelist and screenwriter's own preoccupation with self-reinvention and the fluidity of identity: 'Every decade you become someone else'.

Kureishi has redefined British identity, exploring key issues such as Thatcherism, terrorism, race, class, and sexuality. Hanif Kureishi - Writing the self: A biography is a tour-de-force, exploring for the first time this provocative artist. Looking at his novels, including Intimacy and the Black Album, short stories, and screenplays - the Mother and Venus, and his collaborations with such figures as David Bowie, Roger Michell and Stephen Frears, Ranashini analyses this sometime controversial figure with wit and empathy.


1: Multiple inheritances and race (1954-73)
2: Culture, Politics and Psychoanalysis (1973-1979)
3: 'A new way of being British' (1980-1989)
4: Fathers and Sons (1990-1999)
5: Psychoanalysis and Life-Writing (2000-2009)
6: Writing, reading and life-writing in a post-literary culture (2010 to the present)
Conclusion: evaluating Kureishi's legacy and its curation within the archive and outlining further trails for future researchers.


Ruvani Ranasinha is Reader in Postcolonial Literature at King's College London

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