The Last Word: Hanif Kureishi

UK writer Hanif Kureishi in conversation with Razia Iqbal about new book 'The Last Word'Razia Iqbal is BBC Special Correspondent and presenter of Talking Books. Headline event for opening night of Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival @ Asia Ho

Hanif Kureishi with Razia Iqbal Photography by Nick Cunard

A superstar author never shy of sharing his opinion, Hanif Kureishi opened the Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival with an evening full of laughter and delight.  The writer was interviewed by BBC special correspondent Razia Iqbal who effortlessly kept her own presence on stage and steered the discussion that gave interesting insights into the way Hanif writes, his life and opinions.

The evening began with Hanif Kureishi reading an excerpt from The Last word, his latest novel about a young English writer commissioned to write the biography of an eminent Indian-born author.  Besides the book, Hanif touched on his relationship with his father and growing up in England.  He also declared that men don’t read novels and was shocked that his kids don’t read and find his job rather unimpressive.

AH_Kureishi signing_0177 credit

Hanif Kureishi pauses from signing copies of The Last Word at Asia House Photography by Nick Cunard

Hanif doesn’t come across as likeable in interviews I have read or seen over the years.  I was curious to see him in action at Asia House live and raw, without editing or the filter of a TV lens.  Having been predisposed to dislike him, Bunty and I agreed that we left with a more positive opinion.  He is certainly a presence and confident of his own ability and that is contagious!

There are more wonderful events, discussions and writers to meet during the literature festival so be sure to see the Asia House website and get your tickets.  Asia House creates a more intimate and friendly setting than similar events which is why it’s such a treat.  We are going to a few more festival events so if you spot us do say hello!

Bunty & Bubbly


4 Comments to “The Last Word: Hanif Kureishi”

  1. Honest review thanks

  2. I really like that you are both open enough to change your mind about him. I went to see him at a book festival and found him to be very rude. Sounds like Razia Iqbal did a fine job!

    • Razia did do a fine job and it’s interesting you mentioned her, Patricia. We informed Razia of our prior reserve and subsequently learned from Her that Hanif specifically requested Razia to interview him and she tried to bring out the nicer side.

    • I agree with you both Patricia and Bubbly, Razia Iqbal was tremendous. She was witty and informed and managed to keep both author and audience engaged with her topics of discussion. Hope to see a lot more of her!

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