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The Buddha of Suburbia is narrated in the first person by Karim Amir, whose perspective may not be entirely reliable.
The Buddha of Suburbia is told in the past tense.
Narrator Karim Amir calls his father, Haroon Amir, God and Buddha in recognition of the new position his father has assumed among bohemian Londoners searching for enlightenment. To be a buddha of a dull suburb—in Haroon's case, a "Muslim turned Buddhist"—is not, according to Karim, much of a distinction. However, the exalted titles are made from equal parts irony and adoration. They represent Karim's ambivalence as he studies his father's behavior and searches for an adult identity.
This study guide for Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.