BBC Culture

Talking Books

Hanif Kureishi discusses his writing career

British author Hanif Kureishi has won acclaim for his novels and screenplays – but his work has often drifted too close to home for his loved ones. He discusses his writing with Talking Books’ Razia Iqbal.

Hanif Kureishi is a British novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and playwright. Born to a Pakistani father and English mother in south London, he first found success as the screenwriter for My Beautiful Launderette (1985), which garnered an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay.

His semi-autobiographical novel The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Award for fiction and was made into a BBC television series. His books The Black Album (1995) and Intimacy (1999) have been adapted into a play and a film respectively.

Kureishi’s work has concerned itself with controversial topics like race, sexuality, drugs and immigration.  The use of his own experiences in his work has led to accusations from family members and former partners of exploitation.

Kureishi talks with Razia Iqbal about the relationship between his life and work, and how writing can be both a kind of madness and therapy for both writer and reader.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.