Hanif Kureishi (born 1954) started his career as a playwright and in 1981 was voted Most Promising Playwright of the Year by the London Theatre Critics for his plays Borderline (1981) and Outskirts (1981). His early plays explored topics such as marginality and poverty, immigration and racism, gender differences as well as tensions between the community and the individual, which would later surface again in his novels. Many people discovered Kureishi’s world through the film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), for which he wrote the screenplay (which was nominated for an Academy Award). Kureishi viewed the two characters (a Pakistani boy and an English boy) as parts of himself, as he was born in England to a Pakistani father and an English mother. The film was both praised and criticised for its uncompromising depiction of Asian immigrants and its treatment of the gay relationship. It was followed by Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1988), also directed by Stephen Frears and dealing with issues of interraciality and nationalism, unemployment and alienation, and London Kills Me (1991), directed by Kureishi himself and reflecting his fascination with London and pop culture, recurrent features in his work as a whole.
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