Hanif Kureishi on the room where he writes

Writers' rooms: Hanif Kureishi Guardian has compiled an interesting list of writers and their rooms here. Here’s a detailed account of Kureishi’s room:

“The garden gnome with his bottom showing on the desk was given to me by my son. I’ve got three sons – 13-year-old twins and an eight year old – and almost all the objects you see on the shelves are to do with them: they are of no intrinsic value but they remind me in some way of my boys.

The photographs are also mainly of my kids. And above the desk there’s a very sexy picture of Kate Moss. I think every writer needs a picture of Kate Moss in their room as an inspiration. Kate is from South London like me, and, indeed, like my girlfriend, also a Croydon girl.

I’ve got thousands of CDs because I always listen to music when I’m writing. I’ve done it since I was a teenager, when I first started writing in my bedroom in Bromley. Silence makes me feel rather uncomfortable, nervous.

The flock wallpaper was in the house when I got here, I’ve kept it, and indeed fought to keep it, because it is like being in an Indian restaurant, and I always wanted to spend all of my life in an Indian restaurant.

The picture at the bottom of the wall of the girl sitting down is a drawing of my mother, done by a friend of hers in 1943. Next to that, on the right, is a portait of my father by my mother drawn in 1954, the year I was born. Above that is my Oscar nomination for My Beautiful Laundrette.

I don’t read very much. I don’t have time, but I certainly accumulate books and they are sort of piled up everywhere. I hate to throw books away.

I usually work in the morning, I try to start around seven and work until around midday and then I do other things. I’ve got several typewriters but you can’t get the ribbons. Computers are a mercy for writers, but they do encourage books that are too long. I write by hand first and then type it up. Writing with a fountain pen is a real pleasure and many writers are pen queens – you’d be surprised at how some of the toughest guys can’t wait to tell you about their new Mont Blanc.”
Courtesy Guardian

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