In Gabriel’s Gift (2001) and The Body (2002), Kureishi is striving to break free from the cynicism, gloom and uncertainty that pervade Love in a Blue Time, Intimacy, and Midnight All Day. This effort, however, is more rigidly confined to the realm of the personal than any of the previous three books had been; Susie Thomas remarks that in his latest books Kureishi seems finally ‘to have lost faith, or lost interest, in the 1970s agenda which saw literature as an agent for political change’ (Thomas 151). The compensating factor that attends this public disillusionment is that ‘there is optimism about the possibilities for change and renewal … on a personal level’ though Thomas senses that ‘there is an element of willed optimism’ in this positive stance (Thomas 151–2). Moreover, there is a contradiction implicit in the books’ depiction of youthful innocence: both books are heavily freighted with an awareness of mortality, loss and loneliness.
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