Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia

Bart Moore-Gilbert (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
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The Buddha of Suburbia

(1990), Kureishi's first novel, is generally considered to be the most successful of his prose fictions. The winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, it has been translated into more than twenty languages and was adapted into an acclaimed four-part BBC television series in 1993. Like

My Beautiful Laundrette

, it is centred on a mixed-race British-Asian protagonist, Karim Amir, though its historical focus is the 1970s rather than the 1980s. Like this film,

The Buddha

is also at once a “condition of England” piece, an exploration of the changing meanings of “Englishness” and an analysis of the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

At the outset of the novel, Karim's teenage confusions are generated primarily by the breakdown of his parents'

1011 words

Citation: Moore-Gilbert, Bart. "The Buddha of Suburbia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1371, accessed 19 June 2024.]

1371 The Buddha of Suburbia 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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