Anita and Me

Meera Syal’s novel about nine-year-old Meena is a delightful portrait of life in a small, ex-mining village in 1960s West Midlands. Born in Britain to Indian parents, Meena struggles with her dual identity, the racism of her peers, and the everyday trials of friendship, family and growing up.

British identity

As an increasingly multicultural society, what it means to be ‘British’ is still a huge part of political debate in the UK - just as it was for Meena in the 1960s.

Racism

When Meena overhears racist comments from her neighbours and friends, her world is turned upside down. Is racism still a problem in the UK?

Religion

Meena comes from a Sikh family, something which sets her apart from her peers, while offering another strand to her identity. How important is religion today?

India

The novel may be set in middle England, but this large and complex country is felt throughout its pages.

Growing up

At its core, Anita and Me is a story about growing up - something that everyone, no matter where they come from, can understand.