Who is Salman Rushdie?
With a literary career of five decades, Sir Salman Rushdie has been no stranger to death threats due to his controversial work.
Born two months before the Indian independence from Britain, Salman Rushdie took his first gaze in Bombay — now known as Mumbai. The controversial writer went on to win the illustrious Booker Prize in 1981 for his book, Midnight's Children; the novelist became one of the most celebrated and successful British authors of all time.
However, with his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, the writer managed to cause international turmoil by hurting Islamic sentiments. Thus, began his controversial life.
Amidst the ocean of controversies, puns, metaphors and magic realism, Rushdie sculpts novels giving him the limelight under which only the most highly praised authors stand. Engaging and thought-provoking, Rushdie's works deal with all arches of life such as issues of religion, life and death along with intersections of Eastern and Western cultures. Here are some of his must-read works you can explore.
The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)
Salman Rushdie creates an epic rock and roll love story of two young men chasing after the same young woman inspired by rock music culture and the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The rich network of references, cultures and tales which interweave within the story is what hooks the reader in The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Taking influences from Eastern and Western cultures, as well as ancient and contemporary, the novel, entails an unforgettable tale which transcends through the ages.
Imaginary Homelands: Essays (1992)
As a non-fiction work, this is one of few books by Rushdie which features no myths or magic realism, Imaginary Homelands, reveals many of his thoughts on the contemporary literary and cultural scene. This work is a collection of essays in which he talks about various topics ranging from authors to movies to culture, as well as political issues such as postcolonialism and fundamentalism, which often intersect with his thoughts on literature.
Midnight's Children (1981)
Midnight's Children was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981 and has been listed as one of the Great Books of the 20th Century by Penguin Books. The book draws a picture of a tale of Indian Independence through the story of one young boy, Midnight's Children is one of the most successful novels of the 20th century. Saleem Sinai, the protagonist, is born at the stroke of midnight, at the exact time when India gained independence. The protagonist slowly comes to realise that all children were blessed with special powers who were born, himself included, and sets out to gather all the children together.
The Moor's Last Sigh (1995)
The Moor's Last Sigh's protagonist Moraes Zogoiby, known as Moor throughout the tale, breaks down his existence, relating how all events have led up to the present. Beginning his story with the tales of his ancestors, Moor describes how the generations from then on have twisted and bent that lead to events in his present life. Like many of Salman's works, The Moor's Last Sigh draws on historical and cultural references.