British author and playwright Hanif Kureishi said “I’ve started to feel like a normal person” over a year after a fall left him paralysed.

The novelist, who fainted in December 2022 while on holiday in Rome and woke up without the use of his hands, arms and legs, has since spent his time adapting his 1990 debut novel The Buddha Of Suburbia into a stage production.

He told the Telegraph that adapting the production alongside former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Emma Rice “really cheered me up” knowing that his work was “still alive after I nearly died”.

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Hanif Kureishi has adapted his 1990 debut novel The Buddha Of Suburbia into a stage production (John Stillwell/PA)

The Bromley-born writer said the long and “boring” hospital stays spent “staring at the wall” as he could not use his phone was a “very good way of generating creativity”.

“Although I’m tetraplegic, I’ve started to feel like a normal person,” the 69-year-old told the Telegraph.

“Writing gives me a sense of self-esteem and dignity. That I’m not just a broken body.

“I still have health issues; every day is a lucky day for me. Working really keeps me believing in something worthwhile in my life.”

Just days after the accident, Kureishi began documenting his experience in a series of musings on Substack titled The Kureishi Chronicles and on social media site X, which is set to be turned into a memoir titled Shattered.

Fabulously Fellini’ Exhibition
Hanif Kureishi said he ‘really needed to do the blog’ (Yui Mok/PA)

“I really needed to do the blog,” he said.

“It’s a new way of writing for me because I have to dictate it to a member of my family – one of my sons or my partner Isabella.

“My kids call me The Great Dictator because I shout at them and they write it down. It’s like a spontaneous bop chain of words.

“You kick off and off you go – you don’t know what you’re going to say, and you make sense of it by the end.

“I’ve started to really enjoy writing in this way. I write much quicker. The other day I wrote for two hours, dictating, and I did 3,000 words, which is a shitload for me.”

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Novelist Hanif Kureishi (Martin Keene/PA)

The Buddha Of Suburbia won the author a Whitbread Award (now known as the Costa Book Awards) for best first novel in 1990, and it was later adapted into a four-part BBC television series with a soundtrack by David Bowie.

The theatre production, about an Anglo-Indian teenager’s sexual and political awakening during the mid-1970s, follows the stage adaptation of My Beautiful Laundrette – which saw Kureishi Oscar-nominated for best screenplay in 1987.

In 2008, Kureishi was made a CBE for services to literature and drama and his second novel, The Black Album, was adapted for the stage in 2009.

The Buddha Of Suburbia will debut at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 18 until June 1.