Hanif Kureishi’s THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA Part One: From Bromley to Penge – The Curiously Specific Book Club
For the second of our trilogy of episodes featuring books that came up from the depths of South London, we’re taking a walk with Hanif Kureishi’s 1990 masterpiece THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA. We begin in Bromley, birthplace and home of the book’s hero Karim (aka Creamy) and his father, the eponymous Buddha – and also the childhood home of none other than David Bowie, whose life weaves in and out of the plot as we head north to Beckenham, where Karim has his first sexual encounter and Bowie played his first festival. Then it’s north again, to Penge, where Karim’s ‘uncle’ keeps a store next to a library. Along the way we discuss Karim, Kureishi and Bowie’s school, how Bowie discovered music opposite where Karim discovered tea, and the South Asian experience of living in South London in the 1970s.
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