Hanif Kureishi: Rebel With a Medal

JULIAN ANDERSON FOR TIME

Novel revolution Kureishi has become the poster boy for post-colonial fiction

When the Queen made Hanif Kureishi a Commander of the British Empire in 2008, she gave him a medal embossed with the logo: "For God and Empire." "You can't get better than that," the writer quipped at the time. "The only causes are the lost causes — or the nonexistent ones."

But God and Empire — and the shadows they have cast over Britain — have been very good to Kureishi, providing him with two rich seams of material for his fiction. "When I was a kid, people were always talking about the death of the novel," he...

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