Zaki's Reviews > The Black Album

The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi
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's review
Jan 03, 14

One of the recurring themes in Hanif Kureish's work is that of Transgression. The Black Album is based around the idea of Prince as the ultimate transgressive personality; he's half black and half white, half man, half woman, half size, feminine but macho too. All of these different aspects combined he's a character who is able to step between several worlds and that's what the protagonist Shahid is trying to do in Black Album.

He's trying to keep one foot in Islamic fundamentalism practised by the group of 'brothers' at his university and the other foot in the more liberal western culture characterised by his post-modernist college lecturer Deedee Osgood who introduces him to sexual and hallucinogenic hedonism.

The novel follows Shahid's story as he struggles to construct an identity for himself while being pulled in conflicting directions.
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