I am so sorry you’re suffering in your body. I am in awe that you can still write with clarity and not darkness. I think this is because this part of you, your writer and storyteller self, has not been broken. May it continue to give you comfort. It does all of us. Thank you for sharing.

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Feb 5Liked by Hanif Kureishi

Dear Hanif Kureishi, I am a Brazilian university professor and writer. On April 1, I had a motorcycle accident in Argentinian Andes and became paraplegic. I read about your condition only yesterday, and immediately looked for you in Twitter. Now I am reading your chronicles. I am very moved to see how we reacted the same way, even in hospital. I wrote my hospital and post hospital diary too… But I was not so brave to publish it. I wish you the best, i.e., that you can walk again. Or, at least, what rested to me: hands in good condition to work. I will continue to follow you. Best. Paulo Franchetti

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Feb 5Liked by Hanif Kureishi

Dear Hanif, Brain working on overdrive is new processing, re-formatting for the Brain. Very familair with your challenges...been in recovery myself for 30 years from TBI. Much you are describing is all too familar. Also re-assuring since the ability to communicate via writing/speaking was extremely comprimised. LISTEN to your body... it may fight you regarding energy, however it will tell you what you need to eat, when to sleep etc. do your best to remember to use medication as a TOOL...

Hard work is for the rest of your life, accept all challenges...you will rise as a Phoenix renewed. It has taken me 30 years....and still counting...medication free...good foods, little reliance on Dr.'s they are but guides to help you overcome and manage...do your homework become a professional student in your own health care...your wellness is will be your new vocation in future. For the time being, let them manage your symptoms not your spirit...

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I’ve got the idea that cricket is worse than baseball, and baseball is already pretty bad. Except the food and watching the crazy fans in the cheap seats.

Insomnia. How to manage it without drugs, or without too many drugs. My favorite way at the moment to to insert myself into fictional situations from books, tv, movies, whatever, then make up scenarios. I was on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise the other night, walked around 18th century Baton Rouge last night in a very pretty but hard to manage dress. It may not always work, but at least it’s entertaining.

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Feb 5·edited Feb 6

Dear Mr Kureishi

First of all, l'd like to offer my heartfelt sympathy for your predicament. I empathise, as well as sympathise, because l too, have been mown down by life. After almost dying in a car crash, I know what it's like to be unable to move my own limbs and to be entirely dependent on the good hearts of others. And for the past 2 years, l know what it's like to have Parkinson's disease. It's life changing. But not in a good way.

So l hope fervently that you will make a good recovery and be able to use your hands and get back to your writing, as you so desperately wish.

I hope you won't think me unfeeling if l tell you that it grabs my attention when a great writer such as yourself, or any well-known or entitled person, is struck down by disease or "fate". It's because these are the voices that can bring about more public awareness of the "underlife", the place inhabited by the chronically ill and disabled. There are so many of us, often hiding in the shadows because of infirmity or fear or shame. I'm sorry you've discovered this dark, difficult place, but now you're here, you can indeed learn a lot. And maybe play a very meaningful role by helping heathy people to understand what it's like to lose control of your body - and your life.

My last point concerns a financial contribution to your blog. Please don't be offended if l make the following suggestion as to how you might change the subscription payments: Could you include a "gift" link so that l (and others?) can make a small donation? I really do love reading your blog but a subscription is a rather a big commitment for me. I'd certainly like to gift you a small amount though, as a one-off.

Get well soon! Stay strong, stay hopeful. Mental attitude is the key.

With sincere and best wishes, your fan, Sarah 💗

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I loved hearing about your childhood and family and changing London. Thank you! I hope tonight goes better for you.

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Dear Hanif, greetings from a chilly Ireland nevertheless resplendent in sunshine. I am of Indian heritage but absolutely have no interest in cricket. I don’t understand the rules and of all the things I would like to spend time learning, the rules of cricket are at the bottom of the list or pretty close to it. I often think cricket has been a double edged sword for the Indian subcontinent. Yes it’s a sport we’re good at but at the expense of nearly every other physical and sporting activity. It’s surprising how many Bollywood movies are now based on plucky underdog Indians winning in sports against all the odds. The stories are remarkably few yet miraculously a genre has been created from such slim pickings.

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You are a brave writer Hanif.You write so honestly of your fears,which as readers we can share and also acknowledge.

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I realize your health now demands you become a teller of stories, which pairs our oral tradition + tech. Your exposition gives me the privilege of seeing into the mind of another. Your words are elegant and enlightening to me here in Los Angeles; please know that those you will never meet are rooting for you.

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Hi Hanif, my dad also raved about Hanif M and Rohan Kanhai...who played for the Wrst Indues. So in the early seventies he took me to the Oval (?) to actually see Kanhai play...he was old and greyish by then...I think...I liked playing cricket in North London...my dad never lnew...you mentioned Peter O'Toole is previous dispatch.

..that was disappointing to hear...he was actually involved in coaching colts at our neighbouring club Brondresbury...cricket makes me sick today.

Anyway...go easy on thise sleeping pills...stay cool with the nurses...it must be so hard..

with yiur mind racing and stuff...I wonder if you should try meditation trchniques ...seriously?

Not Bud of Subirbia vibe!! But...something private in your own life...in your predicament now? To counterbalance all the other energy? Stsy calm.

You will hold that pen again and more...

Amir J

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Your posts are such a highlight in my day. Thank you for them and for sharing your writing at this time. I love hearing your thoughts and stories.

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Dear Hanif, to be able to write to you in this stuck & intimate moment is a surprise.

Hearing you speak on Radio 4 this morning compounded the feeling of access to you which I imagine is irksome & helpful... both of which must be maddening. It feels ok to call you Hanif... I hope it is. I enjoyed hearing how you and Salman Rushdie laugh. And, here, I loved reading you describe finding your subject matter. Your excitement is infectious from so very few words.

Dictation is a word full of dread from very early schooling. Having to imagine & hold those sentences and give them life by speaking, and remembering the next one to balance with the previous & the next... I grew up near Milton’s cottage. All I knew about him was how tiny the cottage was & how he dictated Paradise Lost to his maidservant. When I had to read it for English, I was stuck with this image of him in bed in a linen nightcap, speaking it out. Didn’t make it any more digestible, except for Satan’s vaunting pain at loosing heaven. That was crystalline. Maybe that was John’s frustration with dictation, bouncing off the roof of hell.

You and I had a very dear friend in common. Roger Michell and I grew up together, very near Milton’s cottage. And we stayed friends all his life. I had supper with him in Kentish Town 5 weeks before he died, my last sight of him, in a blue striped sweater biking homewards, chuckling. I miss him. Le Weekend is the film where I forgot Rog had made it. It’s a wonderful surprising film, that gets me every time.

It’s been good writing to you, I hope these ‘replies’ are making the glacial nature of recovery more varied.

Best wishes

Matthew Evans

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“And oft when on my couch I lie,

in vacant or in pensive mood

They flash upon the inward eye

which is the bliss of solitude

And then my heart with pleasure fills

And dances with the daffodils…”

Thank you for reminding me of these precious words,


British Columbia


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I love this writing. I love how beautifully and clearly you use the English language. It is your language. If I would write well, it would be in Spanish. The teachers who taught me English would say that Spanish would forever interfere. I know how much I am enjoying your posting when I can see clearly, and I am smiling or laughing. This one was just delightful.

I kept on wondering about the name Hanif. So now you explained it. You were meant to be a cricketeer. I understand and I laughed when you wrote you hate the game now.

In the USA, everyone assumes I love baseball because the Dominican Republic sends baseball players to the major leagues. I don’t like baseball, I think it is painfully boring. Even my twin grandkids assumed I knew Big Papi (a famous home run hitter in the Red Sox Team in Boston). When I asked who was he? They were shocked I didn’t know Big Papi. Yes, my mother wanted my brother to be a doctor while he wanted to be a comedian, but he complied. My mom wanted me to be a nurse, not taking in consideration that I fainted at the sight of blood, but my father’s intention for his daughters was worse: we were not to be educated, had to be beautiful, and had to marry military men. Geez, I would have poisoned my husband. Somehow due to a brutal dictator, we found ourselves in NYC. No military man for me. Thank God.

Hanif, keep on practicing in getting better, and I believe you will. Remember we, your readers, love you. I love you! Thanks for today’s writing and for your effort in sending us your thoughts. I value them very much.

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I am afraid of all balls coming at me and kissed the ground that I was a girl so I didn't have to experience football, baseball, etc. Oddly I fought for girl's sports (which weren't allowed in my American public school apart from Mother daughter night).

I wonder about sleep. Feels as though there is little difference between sleep and being awake.

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When I can’t sleep and have to stay in bed I like to listen to meditation-encouraging recordings in languages other than my own. Romance languages are especially nice because I don’t understand enough to argue or object--and the sounds are beautiful.

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