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Hanif Kureishi says he may never be able to walk or hold a pen again after falling in Rome


Novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi has said he will never be able to walk or use a pen again after falling on Boxing Day in Rome.

The Buddha of Surburbia author has now tweeted about the incident, following reports in Italian media that he was in intensive care. “I had just seen Mo Salah score against Aston Villa, sipping half a beer, when I started getting dizzy,” Kureishi wrote. “I leaned forward and put my head between my legs; I woke up a few minutes later in a pool of blood, my neck in a grotesquely twisted position, my wife kneeling beside me.

The author said he then “divorced” himself and saw “a picked up semi-circular object with attached talons rushing towards me”, which turned out to be his own hand. “I thought I was dying. I thought I had three breaths left.

His wife, Monique Proudlove, heard him scream and came to his aid. “She saved my life,” Kureishi said.

Kureishi is still in Gemelli Hospital in Rome, where he has been since the fall. He said he couldn’t move his arms and legs, which he described as “humiliating, degrading and a burden on others”.

He said he had had spinal surgery and would start physiotherapy and rehabilitation as soon as possible. “I want to thank the doctors and nurses at the hospital for all their kindness, skill and extraordinary care,” he said.

The writer asked his followers if any of them knew of any voice-assisted hardware and software that would allow them “to watch, write, and start working again, and continue a kind of half-life “.

Kureishi first gained international acclaim in 1985 for his Oscar-nominated screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette about a young British Pakistani man and his white boyfriend, and is known for his pointed stances on multiculturalism, the class and heritage of the empire. He is the author of seven novels, including The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1990, as well as a number of short stories, essays, plays and screenplays.

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