. In 2008 the prize for the Best of the Bookers
was awarded, the best winner of a Man Booker Prize in the prior forty years,
the winner was Midnight’s Children. Rushdie
is probably best known for writing Satanic Verses and the subsequent
fatwa calling for his murder and putting a bounty on his head. Bookstores (Cody’s on Telegraph Avenue and
several in the UK) were actually bombed just for carrying the book! People died and were injured for Satanic
Verses! Its Japanese translator
was killed, Turkish translator attacked, Italian translator stabbed, and
Norwegian publisher shot. The publicity around Satanic Verses overshadows
the awarding winning Midnight’s Children but both are marvelous
examples of the well written word. Midnight’s
Children is the story of partition, full of historic resonance. Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight
August 15, 1947, his twin the new nation of independent India. But Saleem has
another twin of sorts; he was switched at birth with Shiva, enjoying the fruits
of a wealthy family while Shiva, the rightful heir, is given to a street musician.
1001 children are born within an hour of
the birth of India. They are bound together in fantastical ways. Saleem has great powers of telepathy, but it
does not bring joy. He also has a prodigiously
large snout, resulting in several less than flattering names. While the story takes the reader to dark
places, the violence, corruption, and despair attendant on partition, it is
also written with wit and verve, Rushdie
can be playful, melodic and devastating, he brings all his creative power to Midnight’s
Winner of the Booker of Bookers
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India's independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India's 1,000 other "midnight's children," all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people-a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight's Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
About the Author
Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 and has lived in England since 1961. He is the author of six novels: "Grimus, Midnight's Children," which won the Booker Prize in 1981 and the James Tait Black Prize, "Shame," winner of the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, "The Satanic Verses," which won the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," which won the Writers' Guild Award and "The Moor's Last Sigh" which won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award. He has also published a collection of short stories "East, West," a book of reportage "The Jaguar Smile," a volume of essays "Imaginary Homelands" and a work of film criticism "The Wizard of Oz." His most recent novel is "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," which was published in 1999.
Salman Rushdie was awarded Germany's Author of the Year Award for his novel "The Satanic Verses" in 1989. In 1993, "Midnight's Children" was voted the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In the same year, he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He is also Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books have been published in more than two dozen languages.