Hanif Kureishi: My Beautiful Laundrette

(668 words)
  • Bart Moore-Gilbert (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) was Kureishi's first major success, winning the former “fringe” playwright a popular audience as well as nominations for Best Screenplay in the Oscars and BAFTA Awards. It concerns the rising fortunes of a young mixed–race British–Asian protagonist, Omar, as he struggles towards maturity in 1980s London, a city being reconfigured by the Thatcherite “revolution” and the social tensions which this provoked. At the outset of the film, the faux–naif Omar is taken up by his uncle Nasser and cousin Salim who represent an entrepreneurial spirit which is in keeping with the spirit of the decade but deeply antithetical to the old–fashioned socialism of Omar's …

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Moore-Gilbert, Bart. "My Beautiful Laundrette". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3380, accessed 08 July 2015.]