Greetings From Bury Park
Greetings From Bury Park (Bloomsbury)
Journalist and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor was two years old when he and his mother and three siblings arrived in Luton from Lahore to join his father. It was the mid-70s, and the independent-minded and resolutely British Sarfraz was to spend the best part of the next 20 years butting horns with his proud, strict, though often self-contradicting Muslim father.
Manzoor’s memoir is an affectionate, at times amusing insight into the contradictions of second-generation lives, the account of the prodigal son’s relationship with his father and desire to make him proud, being particularly engaging. Yet, Manzoor the younger’s account of his escape from the strict confines of race and religion into American television, the music of Bruce Springsteen and other popular culture, feels somewhat familiar, and causes the narrative to descend into the kind of nostalgia-fest that has kept so many hacks in work over the last decade.