Hanif Kureishi on…

Happiness

 

There was comfort in the rain.  He put his head back and looked up into the sky.  He had some impression that happiness was beyond him and everything was coming down, and that life could not be grasped but only lived.’  (‘D’accord, Baby’)

***

At night, when he joined his woman in bed – she wore blue pyjamas, and his son, thrashing in his cot at the end of the room, a blue-striped, short-sleeved babygro, resembling an Edwardian bathing costume – he knew, at last, that there was nowhere else he would prefer to be.’  (‘That Was Then’)

***

There was something he wished he’d said to Natasha as he left – he had looked back and seen her face at the window, watching him go up the steps. “There are worlds and worlds inside you.”  But perhaps it wouldn’t mean anything to her.’  (‘That Was Then’)

***

The sexual happiness of the sort I’d envisaged, a constant and deep satisfaction – the romantic fantasy we’re hypnotised by – was as impossible as the idea you could secure everything you wanted from one person.  But the alternative – lovers, mistresses, whores, lying – seemed too destructive, too unpredictable.  The overcoming of bitterness and resentment, as well as sexual envy of the young, took as much maturity as I could muster, as did the realisation that you have to find happiness in spite of life.’  (‘The Body’)

 

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All citations are taken from Collected Stories, Hanif Kureishi (Faber and Faber, 2010).

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