Brick Lane

Brick Lane Character List

Chanu Ahmed

He is the husband of Nazneen and is about forty years old at the start of the novel. He is an educated man and works in a state institution, but later quits to become a taxi driver. He plans to return back to Bangladesh with his family.


Karim is the lover of Nazneen and is a second-generation Bengali immigrant in London.


Nazneen is the protagonist in the book. She lives in a village in Bangladesh until she is eighteen and then moves to London when she gets married to Chanu. Nazneen is the sister of Hanisa, and the mother of Raqib (who dies as an infant), Shahana, and Bibi.


Hasina is the younger sister of Nazneen. She rebels against her family by marrying for love, and lives a difficult but independent life. Hasina writes to Nazneen, telling her sister about her life.


She is the daughter of Nazneen and Chanu. She is born in Brick Lane, London. Shahana has never been to Bangladesh, and she does not like the Bengali culture.

Dr. Azad

Dr. Azad is a prominent member of the London Bangladeshi community. Because he is influential and well-educated, Chanu is always trying to build a closer relationship with him.

Rupban (Amma)

The mother of Nazneen and Hasina, Rupban seems to live an unhappy life and dies when her daughters are young.

Hamid (Abba)

He is the father of Nazneen and Hasina.


The sister of Hamid and aunt to Hasina and Nazneen, she plays an influential role in the lives of her nieces, especially after their mother dies.


She is a woman Nazneen becomes friends with after moving to London. Razia has two children and she inspires Nazneen to become more independent and stand up for herself.

Mrs. Islam

A wealthy and well-connected older woman, Mrs. Islam loans money to Chanu and is determined to be paid back.