Collected Essays (2011)
This collection of Hanif Kureishi’s prose writings begins in the early 1980s with The Rainbow Sign, which was written as the introduction to the screenplay of My Beautiful Laundrette . It allowed Kureishi to expand upon the questions posed by the film - about race, class, sexuality - which were provoked by his childhood and family situation, and which he found artists were reluctant to deal with.
In the ensuing three decades, he has developed these initial ideas, especially as Islam’s relation to the West has become one of the burning issues of our age.
Kureishi shows how flexible a form the essay can be - as intellectual as Sontag or Adam Phillips, as informal and casual as Max Beerbohm, as cool and minimalist as Joan Didion, or as provocative as Norman Mailer.
As with his fictional work, these essays display Kureishi's ability to capture the temper of the times.