The Body and Seven Stories by Hanif Kureishi

The Body and Seven Stories

Hanif Kureishi

The main story at the centre of this book, The Body, explores the nature of identity and self-worth. Can an aging playwright find happiness by taking on the body of a young man? This is a classic old-fashioned medical horror story and, once you have suspended your belief over the science, you will be drawn in to a vision of the world that is frightening and repulsive but not so far removed from the image-conscious world we live in now.

Extract

Every body is different, but all are identical in their uncontrollability: bodies do various involuntary things, like crying, sneezing, urinating, growing or becoming sexually excited. You soon find that bodies can get very attracted and repelled by other bodies, even - or particularly - when they don't want to.

Parallels
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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Violence
Explicit sexual content