Author Hanif Kureishi says that after falling in Rome, he cannot move his arms or legs

Writer and playwright Hanif Kureishi said he was in a hospital in Rome after falling on Boxing Day and could not move his arms or legs.

The 68-year-old British playwright, novelist and filmmaker – best known for his works Suburb Buddha, Intimacy and Mother – shared a Twitter message saying he was being treated at Gemelli University Hospital in the Italian capital.

Kureishi said he was in town on December 26 when he collapsed while walking from Piazza del Popolo to Villa Borghese and then back to his apartment.

He said: “I had just seen Mo Salah score against Aston Villa while drinking half a beer when I started feeling dizzy.

“I leaned forward and hid my head between my legs; I woke up a few minutes later in a pool of blood with my neck grotesquely contorted and my wife kneeling beside me.

Kureishi said he saw “a cut-out semi-circular object with talons attached running towards me” before realizing it was his hand.

He added: “Then it occurred to me that there was no coordination between what was left of my mind and what was left of my body. I divorced myself. I believed I was dying. I believed I had three breaths left.”

Kureishi said his wife heard his “crazy screams”, adding: “She saved my life and gave me peace.

“I was deeply traumatized for several days, changed and unrecognizable to myself. I am in the hospital. I can’t move, I can’t move my arms and legs.”

He continued: “I can’t scratch my nose, make a phone call or feed myself. As you can imagine, it is both humiliating, demeaning and burdensome to others.

“I’ve had back surgery and have noticed a slight improvement over the past few days.”

World premiere of Florence Foster Jenkins - London

Stephen Frears directed My Beautiful Laundrette, a film about gay British Pakistani youth in 1980s London (Ian West/PA Wire)

Kureishi said he has “feel and some movement” and will begin physiotherapy and rehabilitation soon.

He added: “Right now, it’s unclear if I’ll ever be able to walk or if I’ll ever be able to hold a pen, if there was any help I’d appreciate it would be with regards to the voice-assisted hardware and software that would enable me to watch, writing – and starting work again and continuing a kind of half-life.”

The author is known for tackling difficult topics, including the complexity of relationships and the marginalization of minority groups.

In 1985, Channel 4 commissioned him to write a play that resulted in My Beautiful Laundrette, a film about gay British Pakistani youth in 1980s London.

Directed by Stephen Frears, the film won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Kureishi’s other scripts include Sammy And Rosie Get Laid, London Kills Me, The Mother and Venus.

In 1990, Kureishi published one of his most famous works, The Buddha Of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel and was later adapted into a BBC TV series with a soundtrack by David Bowie.

The novel follows South Asian bisexual British hero Karim Amir as he explores the class, ethnicity, sexuality and culture of late 20th century London.

The book is semi-autobiographical and is based on many of Kureishi’s own experiences growing up in London.

Kureishi’s second novel, The Black Album, was published in 1995 and deals with Islamic fundamentalism and free speech and was adapted for the stage in 2009.

His third novel, Intimacy, was published in 1998 and follows the story of a man contemplating leaving his wife and children after feeling rejected by his wife.

He became a CBE in 2008 and in 2014 he sold his archive to the British Library, which included personal diaries and notebooks as well as working material for his major works.

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