Blurb: Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England – but now, in his early 70s, his reputation is fading, sales have dried up, and his new wife has expensive taste. Harry, a young writer, is commissioned to write a biography to revitalise both Mamoon’s career and his bank balance. Harry greatly admires Mamoon’s work and wants to uncover the truth of the artist’s life. Harry’s publisher seeks a more naked truth, a salacious tale of sex and scandal that will generate headlines. Meanwhile Mamoon himself is mining a different vein of truth altogether. Harry and Mamoon find themselves in a battle of wills, but which of them will have the last word? The ensuing struggle for dominance raises issues of love and desire, loyalty and betrayal, and the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth. Hanif Kureishi has created a tale brimming with youthful exuberance, as hilarious as it is touching, where words have the power to forge a world.
About the author: Hanif Kureishi is an English playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker and novelist. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. Kureishi was born in Bromley, South London to a Pakistani father, Rafiushan Kureishi, and an English mother, Audrey Buss. His father was from a wealthy Madras family, most of whose members moved to Pakistan after the Partition of British India in 1947.
Review: This is my first Hanif Kureishi book. This is an emotional story of a literary novelist Mamoon Azam an Indian immigrant who moves to England, who commissions a young writer Harry to write his biography. In old age, and with struggling book sales and depleting income, the septuagenarian novelist sees his biography as a good publicity stunt and to come full circle with ‘the last word’. Kureishi’s characters are perfect examples of a Freudian world in which everyone responds to their libido in a not reserved way. The story is entertaining, funny and interesting book. Mamoon was full of life and boldness and he captivated at times with his performance. Sometimes slow-moving here and there but still fascinating. This novel seems to be based upon on Hanif Kuerishi’s years of experience as a writer, a creative fiction professor, an award winning and acclaimed novelist, and just an ordinary human being who is trying to get on with life. Hanif Kureishi’s novel the Last Word is recommended reading, especially for aspiring writers.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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