The Book Group: The Buddha of Suburbia

Hanif Kureishi’s semi-autobiographical exploration of race and sexuality on the fringes of 70s London.

This edition of The Book Group revisits the BBC’s four-part television adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, published in 1990 and winner of the Whitbread award for best first novel. The adaptation caused something of an uproar on its first broadcast in 1993, thanks to its daring approach to issues of race and sexuality. Watching now, you may wonder what all the fuss was about, testament to the vast change in attitudes over the past decade or so.

You can learn more about Kureishi and his work with a 2003 edition of The South Bank Show, plus two interviews filmed in 1991 for the BFI documentary Black and White in Colour and an audio recording of Kureishi’s 1999 interview here at the former NFT.

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