Kureishi's novel "The Black Album? addresses many of the topical issues of the contemporary world, in which intercultural communication is very often marred by prejudice and stereotype. Under the form of a Bildungsroman, the novel tries to answer questions related to both individual identity and what identity has really come to mean in the contemporary society. By tracing the evolution of the novel's hero, Shahid, a British student of Pakistani origin, Kureishi demonstrates that today's world is far from being unitary, homogeneous and stable. On the contrary, it represents the stage of sometimes violent conflict more often than not generated by the individual's inability to know him/herself and, more importantly, by the individual's incapacity, sometimes unwillingness to understand the Other for what they really are.