. 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
The original stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, winner of the 1993 Booker of Bookers, the best book to win the Booker Prize in its first twenty-five years.
In the moments of upheaval that surround the stroke of midnight on August 14--15, 1947, the day India proclaimed its independence from Great Britain, 1,001 children are born--each of whom is gifted with supernatural powers. Midnight’s Children focuses on the fates of two of them--the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman and the male heir of a wealthy Muslim family--who become inextricably linked when a midwife switches the boys at birth.
An allegory of modern India, Midnight’s Children is a family saga set against the volatile events of the thirty years following the country’s independence--the partitioning of India and Pakistan, the rule of Indira Gandhi, the onset of violence and war, and the imposition of martial law. It is a magical and haunting tale, of fragmentation and of the struggle for identity and belonging that links personal life with national history.
In collaboration with Simon Reade, Tim Supple and the Royal Shakespeare Society, Salman Rushdie has adapted his masterpiece for the stage.
About the Author
SALMAN RUSHDIE is the author of fourteen novels--including Luka and the Fire of Life; Grimus; Midnight's Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker); Shame; The Satanic Verses; Haroun and the Sea of Stories; The Moor's Last Sigh; The Ground Beneath Her Feet; Fury; Shalimar the Clown; The Enchantress of Florence; Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights; The Golden House; and Quichotte--and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published four works of non-fiction--Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line--and coedited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.
“The literary map of India has been redrawn. . . . Midnight’s Children sounds like a country finding its voice.” —The New York Times
“One of the most important books to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation.” —The New York Review of Books