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Salman Rushdie

By

Salman Rushdie

© Beowulf Sheehan

Birth:

Ahmed Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India on June 19, 1947.

Salman Rushdie's Background:

Born the only son of four children to a Cambridge-educated businessman and a school teacher in Bombay, Salman Rushdie was educated at a Bombay private school before being sent to England at the age of fourteen to attend Rugby School, a leading boarding school in Warwickshire, England. He later studied history at King's College, Cambridge where he was also part of a theatre company.

Rushdie initially worked in television and as a copywriter for an advertising agency, before pursuing writing as a full-time career.
Salman Rushdie has been married four times, most recently to the actress and supermodel Padma Lakshmi. In 2007, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to literature.

Salman Rushdie's Writing:

Salman Rushdie's novels are typically historical in nature and often contain elements of magical realism.

Rushdie's first novel, Grimus (1975) was a work of fantasy about a young Indian who drinks a magic elixer. It was largely ignored by the literary community. His follow-up, however, launched him into the literary spotlight.
Midnight's Children (1981) won the Booker Prize, and in 2008 was named the Best of the Bookers, the best Booker Prize-winning novel to have received the prize. Midnight's Children is an allegorical story that follows the progress of Saleem Sinai, a telepathic protagonist born at the moment India gained its independence.

Shame (1983) is also set upon the Indian subcontinent, this time in Pakistan. It is similarly characterized by its political nature and its magical realism. The book claimed a prize in France and was a finalist for the Booker.
Salman Rushdie is most well-known for his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, due to the fact that it was perceived in Muslim countries as blasphemous. The novel, which was partly inspired by the life of Muhammad and whose title refers to writings from the Qur'an, was banned in Rushdie's home country of India, and in 1989 Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini famously issued a fatwa that called for Rushdie to be killed. Rushdie lived in seclusion for roughly nine years.
Rushdie won a Whitbread Prize for The Moor's Last Sigh (1995), his first major work after The Satanic Verses. His most recent novels are Shalimar the Clown (2005), set largely in Kashmir but also in Los Angeles, and The Enchantress of Florence (2008), an historical novel that criss-crosses between India and Italy.

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