Long before Islamic fundamentalism became a household phrase, Hanif Kureishi began visiting mosques in London and witnessing the flocks of young Asians -- many of them second-generation immigrants -- who were turning to Islam. Kureishi was perplexed by these young people, brought up in secular Britain but intent on choosing a strict religious code that denied them the pleasures of the society in which they lived.
First published in 1995, The Black Album is Kureishi's raucous, exuberant, and prophetic examination of this new phenomenon. His protagonist Shahid, from a Pakistani immigrant family, is perilously fond of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. A student at a dismal community college in London, he wants to please the conservative Muslims in the flat next door but is enthralled by the gorgeous Deedee Osgood, a radical, hard-partying college professor with a penchant for sex in taxis.
Also included in this new edition of The Black Album is ""My Son the Fanatic,"" Kureishi's brilliant short story, published in The New Yorker and made into an award-winning film. ""My Son the Fanatic"" reveals the shifting values between a father and son -- two generations of immigrants struggling between assimilation and separatist fundamentalism.
Available together for the first time, The Black Album and ""My Son the Fanatic"" are more timely and relevant than ever -- exhilarating and prescient writing from one of the most celebrated voices in British fiction and film.