The Guardian reports that “community leaders from the neighbourhood in the East End of London that inspired Monica Ali’s Booker-nominated first novel, Brick Lane, have branded her work a ‘despicable insult’ to Bangladeshis living in the area.” A spokesman says the novel is riddled with stereotypes:
The book says we got here by jumping ships and it says we have lice and live like rats in their holes. These comments are simply untrue and hurtful.
Booker judge DJ Taylor urges caution, saying, “Fifteen years ago we had people on the streets of Bradford burning Salman Rushie’s Satanic Verses merely because they had been told to hate it. We do not want to go down that road again.” (Thanks to Alex for the link.)