Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who Wants To Tell Michiko Kakutani That The "New Memoir" She Reviewed Today Came Out Almost Six Years Ago? No, You Tell Her.

That "new" memoir Michiko Kakutani reviews today, by the "My Beautiful Laundrette" guy? Came out almost six years ago, in September of 2004.

"Hanif Kureishi’s affecting new memoir, 'My Ear at His Heart,'....is ruminative and minor-key," Kakutani writes, comparing it to works by Martin Amis and V.S. Naipaul.

Nowhere in her daily NYT review does Kakutani mention the fact that the memoir has been readily available to Kureishi fans since 2004, via its British edition, published by Faber and Faber. Kakutani is reviewing the "new," American Scribner edition, but it's the same book. Who rewrites a memoir? Who besides James Frey, we mean.

Kureishi's most famous for writing the screenplay for "Laundrette" in 1985 -- it got him nominated for an Academy Award -- and then, in 1990, a first novel called "The Buddha of Suburbia." He has been a prolific, high-profile screenwriter, novelist and storyteller for most of the last quarter-century.

Good review, Michi. Next time, read the copyright page.


Roberto said...

Nicely nytpicky. Like it.

[And await the onslaught of naysaying Kool-Aid drinkers who will savage you for your unfair assault on all that is good.]

Sarah said...

Ought there to be a rule that reviews should only be about new items? Or can reviews be about whatever the author/paper decides it wants to review? Like, say, I could review War and Peace if I so chose, and could secure page space.