The novel is based on Syal’s experiences growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s in a mostly white working-class former mining village in the Midlands.
Anita and Me (Grades 9–1)
Many Asian families came to Britain seeking work and better lives after 1947. During the 1960s some people, such as the politician Enoch Powell, started to object.
Meena is a fan of English pop culture – its fashions, music, TV programmes and the teen magazine ‘Jackie’ – preferring it to Indian culture.
Other novels have explored the experience of immigrants to Britain and their children’s experiences, such as Andrea Levy’s ‘Small Island’ and Monica Ali’s ‘Brick Lane’.
India became independent from Britain in 1947, splitting into India and Pakistan. Violence erupted between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Many people became refugees, like Papa.