Anthony Cummins

Steady, Eddie

The Nothing

By Hanif Kureishi

Faber & Faber 167pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Women whom Hanif Kureishi’s protagonists have known include Julia (in The Last Word, 2014), who swears by a beauty regime that involves rubbing the hero’s semen into her forehead; Nina (Intimacy, 1998), who invited the narrator, twice her age, ‘to masturbate on her back, stomach or feet while she slept’ or ‘before she rushed off, to have me on her on the tube’; and now Zenab (also known as Zee), who in the early days of marriage to the elderly narrator, Waldo, lived on nothing but ‘dates – maybe one, or sometimes two a day – and yogurt and semen’. This isn’t usually what we mean by a wild imagination.

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