10 04 2010

Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi

“You don’t stop loving someone just because you hate them.” The best line from the book!

I have just finished Hanif Kureishi’s book Intimacy. It was a quick read and no effort at all. I liked the honesty with which he writes about the most intimate things he thinks and does, including masturbation. It was no surprise to me then, to learn that he started his career in the ’70s as a writer of pornography.

The story begins by describing the life of a married man who is about to leave his wife and two small sons. As the tale progresses, the writer explores their life and explains the reasons the man desires something different. He is obsessed with an ex-girlfriend and she is a constant background figure in the book.

While reading, I kept wondering if the man would actually leave his wife or not. In the end he does. However, I was not convinced by the reasons he left her. I thought she would have been astonished to wake up in the morning and find him gone… with no explanation, no conversations or attempts to mend things.

Is this how people really split? Or maybe the conversations come afterwards. But then what? Will he go back to her?

I think the book is not yet complete!



4 responses

11 04 2010

I think it is interesting how we constantly try to find ‘convincing’ reasons for separations but don’t ask for ‘convincing’ reasons for starting a relationship. By asking for convincing reasons we ask for a separation based on reason or rationale, whereas the discourse around starting relationships is almost wholly on feelings – falling in love, being besotted, attracted, etc as opposed to the use of reason. It is almost as if ending a relationship is not thought of as being in the emotional plane.
Does the book remind you of Camus’ The Stranger’?
It sounds like a good read.

12 04 2010

and reasons for things like this are subjective no? who but he himself can decide what a convincing reason for this is, and who but he needs to be convinced?

12 04 2010

well, for me as a reader, i need to be convinced! it needs to be believable to ME if the book is to really stike a cord with ME! and i found the reasons alltogether missing!
Vak, convincing reasons for starting a relationship…or the discourse around it apart from feelings does exisit…look at arranged marraiges and the numerous match making sites: reasons range from migration to money to “want to get out of home” to god knows what else…and feelings too – wanting to be in love and love in return…. so yes there are many convincing reasons for starting relationsips and we do find them and think about them and talk abotu them….

25 06 2011

Read it. For me, the most poignant part of the book was not his exploration of the love relationship but with the sons.

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