By Sara Upstone
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Extra info for British Asian Fiction: Twenty-first Century Voices
39 Yet Kureishi’s own comments in interviews (unless we read these too as ironic) make such readings more difficult. 41 Any irony, too, is part of the ideological positioning his novels take. Ambivalence indicates a problematic lack of commitment which is itself indicative of an ideological perspective. 46 In particular, Black Album illustrates how it is not enough in Kureishi’s terms for culture to be diverse: the self, also, must embody this difference internally. The most vital symbol for this way of thinking is the artist who gives the book its title: Prince.
108 Kureishi, Buddha, p. 3. 109 Mustafa, V. S. Naipaul, p. 27. For an overview of Naipaul’s antiIslamic sentiment see Kapur, ‘A Million Neuroses’, and Wheatcroft, ‘A Terrifying Honesty’. Although the Satanic Verses affair was driven by accusations of Orientalism, recent Rushdie criticism renews this claim: see Sawhney and Sawhney, ‘Reading Rushdie after September 11, 2001’. 110 Sanga, Salman Rushdie’s Postcolonial Metaphors p. 20. indd 35 05/03/2010 09:41:00 British Asian fiction 111 Gorra, After Empire, p.
Once these exclusions are established, it is possible to identify in Kureishi’s work a notable ideological positioning. Exclusion of religious commitment from Kureishi’s postethnic world makes the application of Hollinger’s framework problematic. 21 Kureishi’s objection is not to Islam per se, however, but to religion itself. ’22 In his non-fiction and interviews Kureishi’s critique of Islam is interwoven with critiques of Christianity, and religion in general: There are all kinds of things in Islam which are clearly not compatible with liberalism … There’s a lot of stuff in there that you wouldn’t want around now.