Brough's Books - Salman Rushdie

Books by Salman Rushdie

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The Jaguar Smile : A Nicaraguan Journey
Salman Rushdie
Paperback

The Moor's Last Sigh
Salman Rushdie
Paperback
 

Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
Winner of the Booker Prize
Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts. Take, for example, his 1980 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947--the moment at which India became an independent nation--are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view--and certainly his sense of the fantastical--has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre, Midnight's Children is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Rushdie's narrator, Saleem Sinai, is the Hindu child raised by wealthy Muslims. Near the beginning of the novel, he informs us that he is falling apart--literally: I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug--that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by

too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams. In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the moment, although there are signs of an acceleration.

In light of this unfortunate physical degeneration, Saleem has decided to write his life story, and, incidentally, that of India's, before he crumbles into "(approximately) six hundred and thirty million particles of anonymous, and necessarily oblivious, dust." It seems that within one hour of midnight on India's independence day, 1,001 children were born. All of those children were endowed with special powers: some can travel through time, for example; one can change gender. Saleem's gift is telepathy, and it is via this power that he discovers the truth of his birth: that he is, in fact, the product of the illicit coupling of an Indian mother and an English father, and has usurped another's place. His gift also reveals the identities of all the other children and the fact that it is in his power to gather them for a "midnight parliament" to save the nation. To do so, however, would lay him open to that other child, christened Shiva, who has grown up to be a brutish killer. Saleem's dilemma plays out against the backdrop of the first years of independence: the partition of India and Pakistan, the ascendancy of "The Widow" Indira Gandhi, war, and, eventually, the imposition of martial law.

We've seen this mix of magical thinking and political reality before in the works of Günter Grass and Gabriel García Márquez. What sets Rushdie apart is his mad prose pyrotechnics, the exuberant acrobatics of rhyme and alliteration, pun, wordplay, proper and "Babu" English chasing each other across the page in a dizzying, exhilarating cataract of words. Rushdie can be laugh-out-loud funny, but make no mistake--this is an angry book, and its author's outrage lends his language wings. Midnight's Children is Salman Rushdie's irate, affectionate love song to his native land--not so different from a Bombay talkie, after all. --Alix Wilber - Amazon.com
Paperback: 552 pages
Penguin USA
(Paper); ISBN: 0140132708; Reprint edition (April )

 
The Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie
Hardcover - 546 pages (February 1989)
Viking Pr; ISBN: 0670825379

Shame : A Novel
Salman Rushdie
Paperback - 320 pages 1st picado edition (December )
Picador USA; ISBN: 0312270933

The Ground Beneath Her Feet
by Salman Rushdie

Imaginary Homelands : Essays and Criticism, 1981-1991
by Salman Rushdie
Paperback / Published 1992

Horoun and the Sea of Stories
Salman Rushdie
Paperback - 96 pages (April )
Faber & Faber; ISBN: 0571196934

Mirrorwork : 50 Years of Indian Writing : 1947-1997
Salman Rushdie (Editor), Elizabeth West (Editor)
Listed under Books on India

Burning Your Boats : The Collected Short Stories
Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie (Introduction)
Hardcover
Out of Print - Try Used Books

East, West : Stories
Salman Rushdie
Paperback

A Teacher's Window into the Child's Mind : And Papers from the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology.
Sally Goddard, Salman Rushdie
Paperback
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Soldiers Three and In Black and White (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Rudyard Kipling, Salman Rushdie
Paperback / Published 1993

The Wizard of Oz (Bfi Film Classics)
Salman Rushdie
Paperback / Published 1992
 
 
 
   

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