We've all watched My Beautiful Laundrette. Right? Well, if you haven't, please watch it ASAP. Hanif Kureishi is the acclaimed writer, playwright and screenwriter who, in 2008 was included in The Times' list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Born and brought up in London, the son of a Pakistani father and English mother, Kureishi started working at the Royal Court by the time he was 18. He wrote My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985, a screenplay about a gay Pakistani-British boy growing up in 1980s London and the film was directed by Stephen Frears.
Other works include the screenplay for Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987). His book The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Award for the best first novel and was made into a BBC television series which featured a soundtrack by David Bowie. In 1991 the feature film titled London Kills Me, written and directed by Kureishi was released.
In 2008 Kureishi was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Literature and Drama.
On December 26th, 2022 he was hospitalized after suffering spinal cord trauma following a fall in Rome. And almost immediately after, while lying paralyzed in his hospital bed in the Italian capital, he started to tweet about his experiences and feelings. It's heartbreaking to follow him, but also inspiring and his writing voice, already wondrous before the accident, has become a sort of starting bell for the day ahead, for all of us who follow him on Twitter. You can also get the full transcript, as he dictates the tweets to his wife and son, by signing up to his Substack newsletter here.
We take this opportunity to send Hanif Kureishi all the healing vibes in the world and hope that his story back from the edge of the precipice takes a turn for the better. To quote a perfect line from a sort of silly film “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.” This is not the first time Kureishi has faced disaster, as in 2013 the writer lost all his life's savings in a fraudulent scheme which was perpetrated by his accountant at the time. But his resilience and spirit promise an unexpected outcome. Inshallah.