Book choice June! ARCADIA – 15th June 2014 – Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi

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18 Jan 1999

‘It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.’

Jay is leaving his partner and their two sons. As the long night before his departure unfolds he remembers the ups and downs of his relationship with Susan. In an unforgettable, and often pitiless, reflection of their time together he analyses the agonies and the joys of trying to make a life with another person. -Amazon

Amazon Review

Hanif Kureishi’s latest novel made many reviewers uneasy on its first appearance, because it cuts so painfully near to the bone. If a novelist’s first duty is to tell the truth, then Kureishi has done his duty with unflinching courage. Intimacy gives us the thoughts and memories of a middle-aged writer on the night before he walks out on his wife and two young sons, in favour of a younger woman. A very modern man, without political convictions or religious beliefs, he vaguely hopes to find fulfilment in sexual love. No-one is spared Kureishi’s cold, penetrating gaze or lacerating pen. “She thinks she’s feminist, but she’s just bad- tempered,” he says of his abandoned wife. A male friend advises him, “Marriage is a battle, a terrible journey, a season in hell and a reason for living.”At the heart of the novel is this terrible paradox: “You don’t stop loving someone just because you hate them.” Male readers will wince with recognition at the narrator’s hatred of entrapment and domesticity, and his implacable urge towards freedom, escape, even loneliness. Female readers may find it a truly horrific revelation. Kureishi is only telling it like it is, in staccato sentences of pinpoint accuracy. By far the author’s best yet: a brilliant, devastating work. —Christopher Hart

Book Description

An unsettling and emotionally charged look at the end of a relationship, from the acclaimed author of The Buddha of Suburbia.

Product Description

‘It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.’

Jay is leaving his partner and their two sons. As the long night before his departure unfolds he remembers the ups and downs of his relationship with Susan. In an unforgettable, and often pitiless, reflection of their time together he analyses the agonies and the joys of trying to make a life with another person.

About the Author

Hanif Kureishi was born and brought up in Kent. He read philosophy at King’s College, London. In 1981 he won the George Devine Award for his plays Outskirts and Borderline, and in 1982 he was appointed Writer-in-Residence at the Royal Court Theatre. In 1984 he wrote My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. His second screenplay Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) was followed by London Kills Me (1991) which he also directed. The Buddha of Suburbia won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel in 1990 and was made into a four-part drama series by the BBC in 1993. His version of Brecht’s Mother Courage has been produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. His second novel, The Black Album, was published in 1995. With Jon Savage he edited The Faber Book of Pop (1995). His first collection of short stories, Love in a Blue Time, was published in 1997. His story My Son the Fanatic, from that collection, was adapted for film and released in 1998. Intimacy, his third novel, was published in 1998, and a film of the same title, based on the novel and other stories by the author, was released in 2001 and won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. His play Sleep With Me premièred at the Royal National Theatre in 1999. His second collection of stories, Midnight All Day, was published in 2000. Gabriel’s Gift, his fourth novel, was published in 2001. The Body and Seven Stories and Dreaming and Scheming, a collection of essays, were published in 2002. His screenplay The Mother was directed by Roger Michell and released in 2003. In 2004 he published his play When The Night Begins and a memoir, My Ear At His Heart. A second collection of essays, The Word and the Bomb, followed in 2005. His screenplay Venus was directed by Roger Michell in 2006. His novel Something to Tell You was published in 2008. In July 2009 his adaptation of his novel, The Black Album, opened at the National Theatre, prior to a nation-wide tour. In 2010 his Collected Stories were published. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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About hello from me to you

I’m Helen, I live in Leeds. I grew up in County Durham and moved to Leeds to study and never left. I love photography, reading, drawing, being outside. I'm always looking for new adventures and projects. follow me on twitter @isfromupnorth

Posted on May 7, 2014, in All Posts, Book Club, Helen, LBC Arcadia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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