Winner of the 1981 Booker Prize
Winner of the 1993 Booker of Bookers
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
"Huge, vital, engrossing...in all senses a fantastic book." Sunday Times
"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
Salman Rushdie's 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel and 1993 Booker of Bookers winner. Born at the midnight of India's independence, Saleem is "handcuffed to history" by the coincidence. He is one of 1001 children born that midnight, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent.