Author Salman Rushdie, whose controversial writings made him a target was brutally stabbed on stage at an event in New York.
Author Salman Rushdie, a champion of free expression, was stabbed multiple times at an event in New York on Friday. He was rushed to the hospital where he continues to be on ventilator. Rushdie has long faced threats to his life because of his work. His controversial book, ‘The Satanic Verses’, made him the target of a fatwa or religious ruling, by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
Born in India to a Muslim family, and a British citizen living in the UK, Rushdie was forced to go into protective hiding for years due to death threats.
Among Rushdie’s notable works, ‘Midnight's Children’ (1981) won the Booker Prize in 1981 and was regarded to be “the best novel of all winners” on two occasions. He was also knighted by the Queen in 2007 for services to literature.
Here is a look at some of the most famous works of Salman Rushdie.
1 Shame (1983)
The novel was deemed as an unclassifiable but necessary work by critics. The novel is set in Peccavistan, an imaginary country and it tells the stories of different characters marked by shame. The first, Omar Khayyam is the son of three mothers and the other is about General Hyder and his huge dark circles. It is one of the most addictive and curious works of Salman Rushdie.
2 Midnight’s Children (1981)
One of the most notable works of the author, 'Midnight’s Children' was just his second novel. It won the Booker Prize and became an international success. The novel is about modern India’s coming of age told through the life of Saleem Sinai who was born at midnight, the very moment of India’s independence. A movie adaptation of the film was made by filmmaker Deepa Mehta.
3 . The Satanic Verses (1988)
Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel, ‘The Satanic Verses’, brought him a painful level of visibility and made him a target of hatred. The book contains satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, which ignited the fury of the Muslim community. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who became the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution, found the book blasphemous and issued a fatwa against Rushdie, urging Muslims to kill the author. The author went into hiding for almost a decade and since then has been a target.
4. The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995)
‘The Moor’s Last Sigh’ is the story of a spice trader, who ages twice as fast as normal humans. Lush with Rushdie’s vivid imagination and his magic with words, ‘The Moor’s Last Sigh’ is a masterpiece. The protagonist, Moor, narrates his existence, relating how all events have led up to the present. The novel draws on historical and cultural references, touching on India’s struggles after independence and events in contemporary India.
5. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)
‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice that examines the history of rock ’n’ roll. Salman Rushdie creates an epic rock and roll love story of two young men both chasing after the same woman. ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ has an incredibly rich network of references, cultures and tales which interweave within the story.
6. ‘Fury’ (2001)
This novel follows a doll maker named Malik who has recently come to New York City after leaving his wife and child in London. The novel is a black comedy about a British man of Indian descent who abandons his family and flees to New York. The story dissects the corrupting effects of anger, wealth, and globalisation.
7. Shalimar the Clown (2005)
‘Shalimar the Clown’ is a twisted tale of love and geopolitics with a prominent American counterterrorism official and his Muslim killer at the centre. It has a political insight that Rushdie's books are known for. The story follows Maximilian Ophuls, America’s counterterrorism chief, and his driver, a Kashmiri Muslim who murders him and we learn about why he did so in flashbacks. The story beautifully depicts how politics ruined the beauty of Kashmir.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: IST