Anita and Me Background

Anita and Me Background

Anita and Me is English comedian/writer Meera Syal's debut novel. It is semi-autobiographical in nature and is based on Syal's early life and childhood in a mining village in Essington, Staffordshire (in the United Kingdom). The main character of the novel is a girl called Meena (very similar to the author's name -- Meera). It follows Meena's life and pays particular focus to her relationship with friend Anita as the two grow up in the fiction town of Tollington (which is heavily based on Essington).

The Washington Post loved the book, comparing it favorably to Huckleberry Finn and calling the main character a "female Huck Finn." Kirkus Reviews offered up another glowing review, writing that Anita and Me is "Far from just another coming-of-age saga, Syal's impressive debut offers a charming yet troubling evocation of recent times."

In 2002, the film adaption of the book was released. Again called Anita and Me, the film received very mixed reviews. Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote that "There are zany vignettes and comedy Indian relations galore, but the whole thing is very cardboard and stereotypical." Syal wrote the films screenplay and also appeared as an actor.

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