Hanif Kureishi’s novel The Buddha of Suburbia is published in 1990and gained him the Whitbread prize
Hanif Kureishi’s novel The Buddha of Suburbia is published in 1990and gained him the Whitbread prize, after the success of his screenplays for My Beautiful Launderette(1985) . The Buddha could not have a single category that one can put in. Thus, it is thought to be regarded as a semi-autobiographical novel and reading it, with information about Hanif Kureishi in the mind, obvious comparisons can be done. As Kureishi’s father arrived in England following the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 like Karim’s father who came from a wealthy family and married an English woman from the lower middle class, worked as a civil servant. Also Kureishi ‘s ambition to become a writer is never realized, though he enthused his son to do so. When Kureishi realized that he wanted to be a playwright himself, he left the suburbs of London at a young age and moved to the city. Like Karim, he worked in the theatre in various positions so as to establish himself as a playwright, until he became a novelist.
On the other hand, as all kureishi ‘s works The Buddha depicts what is happening in Britain in 1970. So , the novel is said also to be as English social realist novel, historical novel , the picaresque and /or the Bildungsroman.
In her article “An introduction to The Buddha of Suburbia” Published in May 25th 2016, Rachel Foss sees The Buddha of Suburbia as a coming-of-age novel with a distinctly late 20th-century spin. In her close reading of Kureishi’s work, she shows how he identifies new ways of being British, through his characters’ explorations of ethnic identity, class and sexuality in 1970s multicultural Britain. She describes it and says that:
The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) tells the story of Karim Amir, a 17 year old boy of mixed race parentage, growing up in the suburbs of South-London in the 1970s and longing for an escape to the city………….. Buddha is a coming-of-age novel with a postmodern spin, which dramatizes constructions of gender, class, sexuality and, above all, race through a portrayal of post-war multi-cultural Britain. The experience of the first and second generation Asian British community is a new subject in contemporary fiction at the time and Kureishi paved the way for a generation of writers who came after him, including Zadie Smith and Monica Ali among others. ” ( Foss . Idem).