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Dreaming and Scheming: Collected Prose: Reflections on Writing and Politics [Paperback]

Hanif Kureishi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

18 Mar 2002
This volume collects the very best of the non-fiction writings by Hanif Kureishi over a 15 year period. These include political essays, diaries of film-making collaborations, essays about his father, analyses of both the craft and the job of writing - and above all, explorations of how the life of the mind expresses itself in creative endeavours. Kureishi's energies and insights make this collection essential for his admirers, and indeed for anyone who aspires to being a writer or is interested in the act of making fiction.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (18 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571214347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571214341
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


This volume collects the very best of the non-fiction writings by Hanif Kureishi over the past 15 years, including political essays, diaries of film-making collaborations, essays about his father, analyses of both the craft and the job of writing - and above all, explorations of how the life of the mind expresses itself in creative endeavours.

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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, lucid and refreshing 15 April 2002
By A Customer
A fantastic collection of essays from Hanif Kureishi, Dreaming And Scheming proves that he can well and truly deliver in the factual prose department.
Whether he's talking about the nature of writing, the nature of politics or the nature of films, Kureishi always maintains a dryly comic and intelligent tone, dissecting subjects as varied as racist attitiudes in Bradford and his music teacher's assertion that Lennon and Mccartney didn't write the Beatle's songs, with equally cool precision.
Kureishi's essays are always about their subject, a statement that may seem strange at first. Being published as it is so close to Martin Amis's and Will Self's own prose collections, interesting comparisons can be made - namely that Amis, as in his fiction, is more interested in the words themselves, preferring to call attention to his self-conscious and undeniably clever use of language, while Self's pieces are all about his bile-filled agenda, rather than any attempt to engage with the subject matter.
Kureishi on the other hand approaches his subjects head-on in a refreshingly non-showboating way, which is not to say that he can't play with language - on the contrary, there are examples of dazzling word-play to rival anything Amis can offer. The difference is that the cleverness is woven into the discussion, perfectly integrated, whereas with Amis the cleverness IS the discussion, and with Self the bile IS the content (although it should be said that this doesn't stop them being highly entertaining reading).
Kureishi is an immensely intelligent and talented writer, and it is refreshing to read such lucidly written pieces, pieces written for genuine reasons, and delivered with a deceptive simplicity that contains and conveys real complexity.
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