Post colonial criticism in the Buddha of suburbia
An abstract on the aspects of Hanif Kureishi post colonial writing on the Buddha of suburbia
The Buddha of suburbia
This is an autobiographical novel written by Hanif Kureishi about black, Asian British youth, pop culture, the condition in London, England. The novel is about Karim. A mixed race teenager desperate to escape suburban south London to find new life experiences in London in the 1970s (Yu- cheng). So he happily jumps at an unlikely opportunity when a life in theater presents itself.
However, when there is nothing left for him to do in London, he stays in New York for ten months. Before coming to London tom take part in some TV soap operas. The book takes the reader to the verge of Thatcherism (Anonymous). The suburbs are a leaving place from which the characters must move away. Hence to Karim, London though geographically not far from his home appears as an entirely new world. He thus has high expectations of the city. To him the move in to the city is like a pilgrimage.
He introduces himself as “I a m Karim Amir and am English born and bred almost” a motif that is reinforced in the entire novel. In addition, other key themes in the novel include pop music (Maloney). Through his theatre companies, Karim gets to know people from different backgrounds such as working class, the upper middle class and realizes that they speak different language due to good education which was not valuable in the suburb.
The novel also describers other characters trying to make it in London and later , the London high society finds the main characters’ father an Indian immigrant . In their hunger for exotic distractions, they he becomes their Buddha like guru though neither he nor his son Karim believes in his new role (Hanif).
Through the paradigm of prejudice, racism, the novel high lights the themes of identity, through a range of conflicts, dilemmas, social and sexual and political settings set in the 1970s and ending as the Thatcher era sets in. `
Anonymous, “the Buddha of suburbia” project, (1990).25october 2011,
Han if, K Biography, 1995, 25october 2011
Maloney, B. a guide to the Buddha of suburbia, 1990, 25 October 2011
Yu- cheng, L. expropriating the authentic; cultural politics in Hanif Kureishi’s’ the Buddha of suburbia 1996, 25 October, 2011