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'Becoming a writer is like changing your gender.'

29 June 2015

'Becoming a writer is like changing your gender. When I was young, my identity was as a Paki, a mixed-race mongrel boy from nowhere. The idea of having another identity as a writer seemed like a splendid solution to that. My place in the world was different. It created a future for me...

When I was young, my dad told me I should change my name. He said I should give up this idea of being mixed race and see if I could disappear. I said the fact that I was mixed race was the most interesting thing about me. It put me in a position to tell stories about Britain that hadn't been told before.'

Hanif Kureishi in The Times magazine