Hanif Kureishi sounded out of breath throughout this telephonic interview. The reason, I discovered later, was because he was gardening while talking. The 56-year-old Kureishi's volume of collected short stories is being released in India by Penguin this month. The London-based author spoke to DNA about the themes that recur in his stories and novels -- sex, drugs and psychoanalysis, success, failure and parenting.
In many of your stories -- In A Blue Time being a case in point -- there is an undercurrent of tension between the demands of family life and that of one's male friends.
Some of these stories were written a long time ago. I guess they are about different kinds of pleasure. The pleasures of domesticity might involve giving up the pleasures of male bonding. Today I don't see the two as being irreconcilable, but I guess back then I didn't see the them as going together.
Have you ever written a story under the influence of narcotics?
I wouldn't do that; that would be madness. Drugs are one thing and writing is another. To write, you need a lot of concentration and patience. It takes a long time to write something. I would work on a story for months -- you wouldn't want to be stoned all that time.
Full interview here DNA