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Midnight's Childrenby Salman Rushdie
Synopses & Reviews
In the moments of upheaval that surround the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the day India proclaimed its independence from Great Britain, one thousand and one children are born — each of whom, though forced to struggle through hardships faced by citizens of a newly independent country, is gifted with supernatural powers. Midnight's Children focuses on the fates of two of these children — 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 two boys at birth.
An allegory of modern India, Midnight's Children is a family saga set against the volatile events in 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 both fragmentation and the struggle for identity that links personal life with national history.
"Burgeons with life, with exuberance and fantasy....Rushdie is a writer of courage, impressive strength, and sheer stylistic brilliance." The Washington Post Book World
"In Salman Rushdie, India has produced a glittering novelist — one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling." V. S. Pritchett, The New Yorker
"An extraordinary novel...one of the most important to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation." Robert Towers, The New York Review of Books
"Huge, vital, engrossing...in all senses a fantastic book." Sunday Times
Winner of the Booker of Bookers
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of Indias 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 Indias 1,000 other “midnights 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, Midnights 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, Midnights 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 Moors 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 Germanys Author of the Year Award for his novel The Satanic Verses in 1989. In 1993, Midnights 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.
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