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Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie(1947- )
Sir Salman Rushdie is the author of many novels including Grimus, Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence. He has also published works of non-fiction including, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz and, as co-editor, The Vintage Book of Short Stories. He has received many awards for his writing including the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight’s Children was judged to be the ‘Booker of Bookers’, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Learn about him at Salman Rushdie’s website.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories: Lots of meaning

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

I confess that I’ve read nothing by Salman Rushdie before, and any knowledge I have of him stems from the controversy that surrounds him. Most are probably well aware of this already, but in 1988 his novel The Satanic Verses was published, resulting in a call by Muslim extremists for his execution. Consequently, he has been forced to spend many years under police protection. I only mention this in the context of this review, because I doubt Haroun and the Sea of Stories would exist had Rushdie not experienced this concentrated effort to have him permanently silenced.

It must have been surprising for fans of Rushdie to find that the first book he published after The Satanic Verses was a children’s book (albeit a complex and lengthy one). Twelve chapters in all, with intricate, intriguing and intoxicating... Read More

The Enchantress of Florence: The means justifies the end

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

A mysterious young Italian styling himself “Mogor dell’ Amore” shows up at the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great, claiming to be Akbar’s uncle. But Akbar, a descendant of Genghis Khan, has never heard of this man’s mother, who the foreigner claims is Akbar’s grandfather’s sister and a beautiful and powerful sorceress.

Could this fascinating and charming young man really be related to the Emperor? Akbar invites him to tell his tale, so Nicola Vespucci settles in to life in the Mughal court where he spends months slowly revealing the history of his mother Angelica (inspired by Orlando Innamorato). Angelica’s adventure is interwoven with the life stories of three Florentine friends — Niccolò Machiavelli, Argo Vespucci, and Nino Argalia (another reference to Orlando Innamorato) — and the current happenings in Akbar’s court. Throughout the ... Read More

Luka and the Fire of Life: A Quest to Write an Ageless Story

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

The Little Prince and Alice in Wonderland are sometimes considered “Children’s Literature,” but both stories speak to the human imagination so directly that they free themselves from the shackles of young age. In his latest novel, Luka and the Fire of Life, Salman Rushdie seeks to write a transcendently ageless, imaginative story about Luka, a boy who was born to turn back time.

Luka is an unusual child. Like his brother Haroun from Haroun and the Sea of Stories, he is a child born with special powers. When he curses a circus ringmaster, the animals successfully rebel against their cruel master and Luka finds himself with two new companions: Bear, a dog, and Dog, a bear. It seems that Luka, ... Read More

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights: Magical realism with folktale feel

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

From the moment I started listening to Salman Rushdie’s new book, Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights, I was enchanted. I wasn’t sure what to expect, not ever having read a Rushdie book before, but his leisurely, indirect storytelling style reminded me of a fairy or folk tale, like the 1001 Nights that Rushdie cleverly takes his title from.

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights tells the story of the jinnia Dunia, her lovers, her countless human/jinn progeny, and their efforts in the war between the worlds of humanity and the jinn, who have entered our realm and begun sowing chaos, violence, and madness. Dunia, who has fallen in love with two human men and, in consequence, all of humanit... Read More

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy: “Best” sets the bar high and these stories clear it

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 edited by Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams

Karen Joy Fowler is the guest editor of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016. This is the second book in the annual series, which John Joseph Adams conceived of, and he still plays a large role in the selection process.

It is worth reading both Adams’ and Fowler’s introductions. Fowler’s is brilliant because she talks about the world, fiction, fantasy and language. Adam’s is instructive. He walks us through the selection process. This is where I discovered that the title, “best of science fiction and fantasy” is quite literal. It’s not “science fiction/fantasy” or “science fantasy” or “science fiction or fantasy.” The book contains twenty stories. Ten are fantasy, and t... Read More

More speculative fiction from Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie Grimus, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Enchantress of FlorenceGrimus — (1975) Publisher: Flapping Eagle, a young Indian, receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid. Tiring of the burden of eternal life, he sets out on a monumental search for the mystical Calf Island, where he can rejoin the human race. His journey is peopled with strange characters.

Salman Rushdie Grimus, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Enchantress of FlorenceThe Satanic Verses — (1988) Publisher: In this great wheel of a book, where the past and the future chase each other furiously, Salman Rushdie takes readers on an epic journey of tears and laughter, of bewitching stories and astonishing flights of the imagination, a journey toward the evil and good that lie entwined within the hearts of women and men.