Monday, March 23, 2015

Sir Salman Rushdie - Biography

Salman Rushdie (born in 1947)

v     Salman Rushdie is a British-Indian novelist and essayist, famous for his writing about India and Pakistan, after their liberation from the British Empire, a period called post-colonialism.

v     Rushdie's style of writing has been called magic realism, a kind of story that asks what would realistically happen if one magical event took place. Some of his characters have special powers.

v     To date, Rushdie has written 9 novels, 3 short story collections, ten non-fiction works, and two children's books.

v     Rushdie is most famous for his novel The Satanic Verses, which angered Muslims so much that the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwā, calling for Rushdie's assassination (objednaná vražda). This happened in 1988. Salman Rushdie has been under police protection ever since.

v     Rushdie has written on many other topics, including Sandinista rebels, children's stories, and rock n' roll. the group U2 used some of his writing in their lyrics.

v     He won the Booker Prize in 1981 for his book Midnight's Children. It was made into a film in 2012.

v     His third novel, Shame, won  best foreign book in France, in 1983. He has won many awards since then.

v     In 1999 Rushdie was selected as Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France.

v     In 2007 he was knighted by the queen of England for his writing.

Personal Life:

Ahmed Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay, India (now Mumbai) to wealthy, Muslim parents. His father was a business man, educated in Cambridge, and his mother was a teacher. When Salman was old enough for secondary school, his parents sent him to boarding school in England, where he completed his education, finishing at the University of Cambridge.

Rushdie began his career in advertising, but his real interest was in literature, writing novels on the side. His first novel, Grimus, was mostly ignored, but his second, Midnight's Children, made him famous.

In 2000 Rushdie moved to America, where he lives and teaches at Emory University in Georgia, where he has deposited his literary archive.

The Satanic Verses

This novel is about two different actors from India, living in England. Gibreel Farishta is a schizophrenic Bollywood actor who typically plays the role of Hindu gods. Saladin Chamcha is a voice-over actor. Both are on a plane that is hijacked by terrorists and then explodes, but instead of dying, they miraculously transform - Gibreel into an angel, and Saladin into a devil.

Saladin is then arrested as a suspected illegal immigrant, and abused by police. Gibreel isn't, and begins dating an English woman, Allie Cone. Gibreel is angry at Saladin, for leaving him to this abuse - they both fell out of the plane together, so he ruins the new relationship, and Gibreel eventually kills Allie in a crazy, jealous rage. Saladin then goes home to India.
During all this, Gibreel has a number of dreams in which he travels back in time to the life of Muhammad, when he briefly supported the worship of the pagan goddesses Allāt, Uzza, and Manāt. These are called the Satanic Verses in the Quran.

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