GREETINGS FROM BURY PARK: RACE, RELIGION AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

GREETINGS FROM BURY PARK: RACE, RELIGION AND ROCK

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Sarfraz Manzoor was two years old when he arrived in Britain in 1974 with his mother – Life as a Pakistani growing up in Britain in the 70’s, loss of a father and the music of Bruce Springsteen, possibly the best book ever written on growing up in the 70’s. –

Sarfraz Manzoor was two years old when he arrived in Britain in 1974 with his mother, brother and sister. The family came to join their father- who had left Pakistan a decade earlier seeking a better life for his family- and settled in the Bury Park neighbourhood of Luton. Sarfraz’s father worked on the production line at Vauxhall while his mother worked at home as a seamstress. Sarfraz’s teenage years were a constant battle in reconciling being both British and Muslim and, frustrated by real life Sarfraz sought solace by escaping into the fantasies offered by television and music. Music quickly became a passion but it was not until he was sixteen that his best friend introduced him to the music of a man that would change his life changed forever. Bruce Springsteen – a white, working class American rock singer – articulated everything that Sarfraz had ever felt about escape, realising your ambitions and not letting the best of yourself down. Inspired by Springsteen’s music Sarfraz left Luton to ultimately become the journalist and broadcaster he is today.

In his affectionate, charming and sometimes hilarious memoir Sarfraz Manzoor retraces his journey from Lahore to Luton to Ladbroke Grove. Set against the turbulent backdrop of a changing Britain and spanning three decades this is how it feels to not quite belong. Greetings from Bury Park illuminates the hidden joys and public agonies of being a Pakistani Muslim. It will be essential reading for anyone who grew up during the seventies and eighties; anyone who struggled to find a way to reconcile what they wanted and what their parents demanded and anyone who wants to truly understand the reality of what it to be a Muslim living in Britain today. It is also Sarfraz Manzoor’s touching journey to try and understand the sacrifices his parents made and honour their generation for what they gave his. It is deeply personal but it is also a universal story of fathers and families, about humour and honour and the ties that bind us all together. Original, darkly tender and wryly amusing, the book is ultimately an inspiring tribute to the power of music to transcend race and religion – and a touching salute of thanks from one working-class Pakistani Muslim boy to the father who died too soon for his son to make him proud.
Sarfraz Manzoor is a writer and broadcaster. He writes for The Guardian but his journalism has also appeared in Esquire, Prospect, The New Statesman and Marie Claire. He has written and presented many documentaries for television and radio including programmes on the Pakistan test series and forthcoming documentaries on Muslim humour and the life of Jinnah. He is also a highly respected cultural critic appearing regularly on BBC 2’s Newsnight Review and Radio 4’s Saturday Review.

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Website: http://www.sarfrazmanzoor.co.uk
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Name: Safraz Manzoor