Stanford University

News Service



John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Writer Hanif Kureishi to talk about work, answer questions at film screenings

Writer Hanif Kureishi will talk briefly about his work before a showing of the film My Son the Fanatic, which Kureishi adapted for the screen from his short story of the same title.

The event, presented by the Stanford South Asia Initiative, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in Annenberg Auditorium. A question-and-answer period with Kureishi will follow. My Beautiful Laundrette, the 1985 film written by Kureishi and nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay, is scheduled to be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in Paloma Lounge of Florence Moore Hall. The author will field questions after the screening. Both events are free and open to the public.

The son of a South Asian immigrant father and British mother, Kureishi was born in England in 1954, and his work often reflects the racism and class divisions he experienced growing up there. Kureishi, however, does not offer a sentimental or politically simple view of his characters. In Laundrette, a Pakistani immigrant sells drugs to help refurbish a self-service laundry business with his gay, white lover. (Many ethnic South Asians in England were outraged by the storyline, and Kureishi received hate mail and threats.)

In the film My Son the Fanatic, which appeared in 1993 as a short story in The New Yorker, Om Puri plays Parvez, a Punjabi immigrant whose son, Farid, becomes engaged to the white daughter of a local police chief. However, Farid breaks off the engagement and increasingly immerses himself in a subculture of devout Muslims who are hostile to the surrounding culture. A subplot involves a liaison between Parvez, who drives a taxi, and a prostitute.

Kureishi also is author of The Buddha of Suburbia, a novel published in 1990 that he later adapted for a television series, The Black Album (1995) and Intimacy (1998), as well as several screenplays. In addition, Kureishi has written several plays and two collections of short stories.

For more information, contact Linda Hess at (650) 725-9732 or


By John Sanford

© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use  |  Copyright Complaints