. 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
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
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
Sir SALMAN RUSHDIE is the multi-award winning author of eleven previous novels--"Luka and the Fire of Life," "Grimus," "Midnight's Children "(which won the Booker Prize, 1981, and the Best of the Booker Prize, 2008), "Shame, The Satanic Verses," "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," "The Moor's Last Sigh," "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," "Fury," "Shalimar the Clown" and "The Enchantress of Florence"--and one collection of short stories, "East, West." He has also published three works of non-fiction: "The Jaguar Smile," "Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 "and "Step Across This Line," and coedited two anthologies, "Mirrorwork "and "Best American Short Stories 2008." His memoir, "Joseph Anton," published in 2012, became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. It was praised as "the finest memoir...in many a year" ("The Washington Post"). His books have been translated into over forty languages. He is a former president of American PEN.