Salman Rushdie

Rushdie, Sir Salman

Sir Salman Rushdie (sälmän´ rōōsh´dē), 1947–, British novelist, b. Bombay (now Mumbai, India). He is known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores. His first novels, including Midnight's Children (1981; Booker Prize; adapted for the stage by Rushdie, 2003) and Shame (1983), incorporate the technique of magic realism; elements of this approach can also be found in his later fiction. Parts of his allegorical novel The Satanic Verses (1988) were deemed sacrilegious and enraged many Muslims, including Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, who in 1989 issued a fatwa sentencing Rushdie to death. Violence occurred in some cities where the book was sold, and Rushdie went into hiding. From his seclusion he wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990), a novelistic allegory against censorship; East, West (1995), a book of short stories; and The Moor's Last Sigh (1995), a novel that examines India's recent history through the life of a Jewish-Christian family. The Iranian government ended its support for the fatwa in 1998, but since 2004 a state-linked Iranian religious foundation has offered a bounty for Rushdie's murder. Rushdie's first post-fatwa novel, The Ground beneath Her Feet (1999), mingles myth and reality in a surreal world of rock music celebrity. Since then he has also written the novels Fury (2001), Shalimar the Clown (2005), and The Enchantress of Florence (2008), a romantic fantasy of 16th-century East and West, chiefly tales of Mughal India and Renaissance Italy. Luka and the Fire of Life (2010), a magical 21st-century myth, is a sequel to Haroun. Rushdie's work also includes numerous essays, many of which are in Step across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992–2002 (2002). He was knighted in 2008, provoking condemnation from some Muslims.

See Joseph Anton (2012), a memoir that chronicles his years in hiding; M. Reder, ed., Conversations with Salman Rushdie (2000) and P. S. Chauhan, ed., Salman Rushdie Interviews (2001); studies by T. Brennan (1989), J. Harrison (1992), C. Cundy (1996), M. K. Booker, ed. (1999), R. Y. Clark (2001), H. Bloom, ed. (2003), P. Chowdhury (2007), and S. Morton (2008).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Salman Rushdie: A Postmodern Reading of His Major Works
Sabrina Hassumani.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002
After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie
Michael Gorra.
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Cultural Imperialism and the Indo-English Novel: Genre and Ideology in R.K. Narayan, Anita Desai, Kamala Markandaya, and Salman Rushdie
Fawzia Afzal-Khan.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993
Taking a Stand While Lacking a Center: Rushdie's Postmodern Politics
Hume, Kathryn.
Philological Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2, Spring 1995
South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century Britain: Culture in Translation
Ruvani Ranasinha.
Oxford University Press, 2007
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Writing Back, Re-Writing Britain: Farrukh Dhondy and Salman Rushdie"
Epic of Failure: Disappointment as Utopian Fantasy in Midnight's Children
Su, John J.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 4, Winter 2001
The Rushdie Incident as Law-and-Literature Parable
Chakravorty, Pinaki.
The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 104, No. 8, June 1995
The Paradox of Globalization as an "Untotalizable Totality" in Salman Rushdie's the Ground beneath Her Feet
Pirbhai, Mariam.
International Fiction Review, Vol. 28, No. 1-2, January 2001
The Power of the Story: Fiction and Political Change
Michael Hanne.
Berghahn Books, 1994 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Salman Rushdie: "The Satanic Verses" (1988)"
Auguries of Power: Prophecy and Violence in the Satanic Verses
Cavanaugh, Christine.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall 2004
Reworlding: The Literature of the Indian Diaspora
Emmanuel S. Nelson.
Greenwood Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Rushdie's Fiction: The World beyond the Looking Glass"
Techniques of Subversion in Modern Literature: Transgression, Abjection, and the Carnivalesque
M. Keith Booker.
University of Florida Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Beauty and the Beast: Dualism as Despotism in the Fiction of Salman Rushdie"
Salman Rushdie: The Ambivalence of Migrancy
Sharma, Shailja.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 4, Winter 2001
Reading Rushdie after September 11, 2001. (Introduction)
Sawhney, Sabina; Sawhney, Simona.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 4, Winter 2001
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