Sarfraz Manzoor’s autobiography Greetings from Bury Park follow Manzoor’s life over three decades. The book is dedicated to Manzoor’s parents – Rasool Bibi and Mohammed. A later edition also dedicates the autobiography to Manzoor’s wife and children – Bridget, Laila, and Ezra.
In terms of structure, the events are presented in a non-linear manner and cover over three decades, from before Sarfraz was born to when the autobiography was written. At times, the book jumps backward in time and presents events from Mohammed Manzoor’s life, which took place before Sarfraz’s birth.
The main character is Sarfraz Manzoor, who introduces several other characters as he talks about his family’s life in Britain. Two of the most important characters are Mohammed Manzoor – his father, and Rasool Bibi – his mother. Other important characters include Sarfraz’s siblings – Navela, Sohail, and Uzma – and Sarfraz’s best friend, Amolak.
In terms of setting, the main events take place from 1971 – the year when Sarfraz Manzoor was born – to 2007 – the year he published Greetings from Bury Park. However, the book presents different physical and time settings, including events that took place before Sarfraz’s birth.
Sarfraz Manzoor is the first-person narrator. His narrative voice is mainly analytical, as he examines and interprets the events that have shaped his life. At times, the narrator’s voice is either humorous or nostalgic, according to the events he recalls and the intensity of his experiences.
When it comes to language, the memoir mainly focuses on the power of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics and music, and their influence on Sarfraz’s life. Springsteen’s lyrics often reflect Sarfraz’s experiences, while the music helps Sarfraz find his identity. The memoir also introduces plenty of words and expressions connected to Pakistani culture, which help Sarfraz portray his family and its origins.
You can read a full analysis of the autobiography on the following pages.