British Pakistani playwright, screenwriter
Hanif Kureishi born 5 December 1954 is a British playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist of Pakistani and English descent. Kureishi was born in Bromley, South London, to a Pakistani father, Rafiushan Kureishi, and an English mother, Audrey Buss. His father was from a wealthy Madras family, most of whose members moved to Pakistan after the partition of Indo-Pak in 1947.
Hanif Kureishi attended Bromley Technical High School and studied for A-levels at Bromley College of Technology. While at this college, he was elected as Student Union President (1972) and some of the characters from his semi-autobiographical work The Buddha of Suburbia are from this period. He went on to spend a year studying philosophy at Lancaster University. Later he attended King’s College London and took a degree in philosophy. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.
His 1984 screenplay for the film My Beautiful Laundrette was nominated for an Oscar. He also wrote the screenplays of Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) and London Kills Me (1991). His short story ‘My Son the Fanatic’ was adapted as a film in 1998. Kureishi’s screenplays for The Mother in 2003 and Venus (2006) were both directed by Roger Michell. A screenplay adapted from Kureishi’s novel The Black Album was published in 2009.
The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel and was produced as a four-part drama for the BBC in 1993. His second novel was The Black Album (1995). The next, Intimacy (1998), was adapted as a film in 2001, winning the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film festival. Gabriel’s Gift was published in 2001, Something to Tell You in 2008 and The Last Word in 2014.
His first collection of short stories, Love in a Blue Time, appeared in 1997, followed by Midnight All Day (1999) and The Body (2002). These all appear in his Collected Stories (2010), together with eight new stories. His collection of stories and essays Love + Hate was published by Faber & Faber in 2015.
He has also written non-fiction, including the essay collections Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics (2002) and The Word and the Bomb (2005). The memoir My Ear at his Heart: Reading my Father appeared in 2004.
Hanif Kureishi was awarded the C.B.E. for his services to literature, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts des Lettres in France. His works have been translated into 36 languages.