Something to Tell You
Hanif Kureishi, Author . Scribner $26 (375p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7
Prolific screenwriter, playwright and novelist Kureishi has a gift for smart, sparkling prose and expertly crafted characters, and it is on full display in his latest, the funny and heartbreaking story of Jamal Khan, a successful middle-aged London psychoanalyst dogged by a crushing secret and a long-burning torch for his first love. Jamal’s son, Rafi, and ex-wife, Josephine, are still very much involved in Jamal’s life, but nobody knows that Jamal is still profoundly in love with his high school girlfriend, Ajita, or that his connection to her is soiled by his complicity in a long-ago violent crime. As an analyst, he knows just how haunting the past can be (“Secrets are my currency,” he informs the reader), and he makes a convincing and often comedic case that madness is an ordinary, unsurprising part of contemporary life. The father-son relationship is especially brilliant, and Kureishi is adept as ever in balancing humor and his piercing insight into the human condition.
Reviewed on: 08/11/2008