Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children won the Booker McConnell Prize for 1981, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the English Speaking Union Literary Award. A fecund, dynamic, baroque, transformative fable of memory and politics – ‘a commingling of the improbable and the mundane’ – the book has been equally acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the subcontinent. 250,000 words long, it has sold more than a quarter of a million copies in this country alone, and has been translated into twelve languages.
Born in Bombay into a Muslim family who emigrated to Pakistan in 1964, Rushdie was subsequently educated at Rugby and Cambridge. ‘I am an emigrant from one country (India) and a newcomer to two (England, where I live, and Pakistan, to which my family moved against my will),’ he writes. ‘And I have a theory that the resentments we mohajirs engender have something to do with our conquest of the force of gravity.’ After Cambridge he became a professional actor, and then supported his creative writing by working for some time in advertising. Now in his mid-thirties, he is married to an Englishwoman, Clarissa, and has a young son, Zafar.
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