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Intimacy (original 1998; edition 1998)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0571195709, Paperback)Hanif Kureishi's fourth novel made many reviewers uneasy on its first appearance in the U.K., because it cuts so painfully near to the bone. If a novelist's first duty is to tell the truth, then the author has done his duty with unflinching courage. Intimacy gives us the thoughts and memories of a middle-aged writer on the night before he walks out on his wife and two young sons for of a younger woman. A very modern man, without political convictions or religious beliefs, he vaguely hopes to find fulfillment in sexual love. No one is spared Kureishi's cold, penetrating gaze or lacerating pen. "She thinks she's feminist, but she's just bad-tempered," the unnamed narrator says of his abandoned wife. A male friend advises him, "Marriage is a battle, a terrible journey, a season in hell, and a reason for living."
At the heart of Intimacy is this terrible paradox: "You don't stop loving someone just because you hate them." Male readers will wince with recognition at the narrator's hatred of entrapment and domesticity, and his implacable urge towards freedom, escape, even loneliness. Female readers may find it a truly horrific revelation. Kureishi is only telling it like it is, in staccato sentences of pinpoint accuracy. By far the author's best yet: a brilliant, devastating work. --Christopher Hart, Amazon.co.uk
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:26:59 -0500)
Jay, the narrator of Hanif Kureishi's third novel, tells his story on the night that he is preparing to leave his lover, Susan, and their two boys. He and Susan live comfortably in London. Each loves the children. Yet Jay, "lost in the middle of [his] life," craves and depends on passion in life, and it is no longer there. Kureishi strips away all posturing and self-justification to expose the flaws of his own protagonist and the failure of intimacy. Searingly honest, he explores the fears and desires that drive a man to leave a woman.
(summary from another edition)
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