Greetings from Bury Park Spiral-Bound | April 8, 2008
Greetings from Bury Park
The inspiration for the smash Sundance hit, soon to be a major motion picture, "Blinded by the Light": The acclaimed memoir about the power of Bruce Springsteen's music on a young Pakistani boy growing up in Britain in the 1970s.
Sarfraz Manzoor was two years old when, in 1974, he emigrated from Pakistan to Britain with his mother, brother, and sister. Sarfraz spent his teenage years in a constant battle, trying to reconcile being both British and Muslim, trying to fit in at school and at home. But it was when his best friend introduced him to the music of Bruce Springsteen that his life changed completely. From the age of sixteen on, after the moment he heard the harmonica and opening lines to “The River,” Springsteen became his personal muse, a lens through which he was able to view the rest of his life. Both a tribute to Springsteen and a story of personal discovery, Greetings from Bury Park is a warm, irreverent, and exceptionally perceptive memoir about how music transcends religion and race.
"Charming and affectionate. . . . [The novel] rises above the predictable coming-of-age genre on the strength of Manzoor's unflinching honesty and his unique world view. . . . You don't have to be a Springsteen fan to enjoy this book or understand Manzoor's devotion. You just have to recall a time when you were still open enough that music had the power to shatter the world view you inherited." —The Miami Herald
"The age-old immigrant's story of hungry hearts and divided loyalties is delivered with uncommon honesty and understanding." —Pico Iyer, Time (Europe)
"[Blinded by the Light] vibrantly displays a modest and unpretentious sense of optimism, and offers the hope that by connecting with our own choices in music we can transcend cultural and generational differences to reach personal freedom without denying our need to belong." —The Guardian
“Wonderful. . . . Manzoor [writes with] insight, compassion, humor and self-awareness.” —The Sunday Times
"A clever memoir from an unlikely fan of Bruce Springsteen." —The New York Post
“Quirky. . . . Brilliant. . . . Offers an interesting insight into the psyche of an avid fan.” —The Independent
“Successfully evokes not only a particular time and place, but, more importantly, a pervasive sense of marginality. . . . A very personal narrative of love, separation, loss and guilt.” —New Statesman
Sarfraz Manzoor is a writer and broadcast journalist. He is a writer for The Guardian but his journalism has also appeared in publications as diverse as the Daily Mail, The Independent, The Observer, Uncut, The Spectator, Prospect and The New Statesman. His television credits include "The Great British Asian Invasion" and "Death of a Porn Star" both for Channel 4. He is a familiar voice on BBC Radio with documentaries on Radio 4, "Up All Night" on radio 5 Live, and regular contributions to Radio 4's "Saturday Review" and Newsnight Review. Prior to his broadcasting career Sarfraz Manzoor was a deputy commissioning editor at Channel 4, which he joined after 5 years as producer and reporter on Channel 4 News. He wrote the screeplay for the forthcoming major motion picture, "Blinded by the Light," based on his memoir, Greetings from Bury Park.