In 1981, Salman Rushdie’s second novel, Midnight’s Children, with its focus on Partition won a Booker Prize. And now, more than four decades later, his new novel Quichotte, due for release this September, has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2019. But this time, his book is a take-off on Don Quixote, immortalised by sixteenth century Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes and often labelled as “the first modern novel”.
Midnight’s Children was given not just a Booker Prize but also a “Booker of the Bookers” Prize (1993) with its story set around the Partition of India and steeped in magical realism. His fourth book Satanic Verses (1988) was a finalist for the Booker Prize. However, a ‘fatwa’ was issued against his book calling for Salman Rushdie’s death by no less than Ayatollah Khomeini one year after it was published. India had banned the book as “hate speech” against a particular religious group.
Sir Salman Rushdie, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, was born in ‘Bombay’ in 1947. He worked as a copywriter in Mumbai till he had his break with his second novel, Midnight’s Children. His first novel, a sci-fi called Grimus (1975), went unnoticed. His third book Shame, with characters based on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and General Zia- ul- Haq, was also a close runner-up for the Booker Prize.
To find out more about this year’s longlist for Booker Prize, click here.
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