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Salaman Rushdie (1947-)

Salman Ahmed Rushdie was born in Bombay to a well-to-do family in 1947, to months before the independence of the India and the birth of Pakistan. After spending his childhood in Kashmir, he studied at Bombay and in England, at the famous Rugby School and at King's College, Cambridge. After a short stay in Pakistan, where his family had moved, he settled in London.
He decided to devote himself entirely to literature after the success, in 1981, of his second novel, Midnight's Children, which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1993 and the James Tait Black Prize. In 1988 his novel The Satanic Verses was perceived by the religious authorities in Iran as a blasphemous attack on the Prophet Mohammed founder of the Muslim faith, and led to the issuing of a "fatwa", a death sentence, by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. He was thus obliged to live in hiding, under constant protection from the British Secret Service.Only when the "fatwa" was lifted in 1998 did Rushdie reappear in public. His best-known work, Midnight's Children (1981), is a book which defies simple categorization. However, its general atmosphere, visionary and fantastic though deeply rooted in real socio-political events, places it in the sphere of magic realism. The term, in fact, refers to a kind of fiction where marvelous and impossible events occurs in an othersise realistic narrative. Its definition is associated above all with Latin-American fiction. In this specific case, the use of magic realism enables the author to say dangerous things safely and serves as a vehicle for political denunciation.

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