64 Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie (1947- )

Salman Rushdie (1947- )

The Perforated Sheet


Contemporary Literature

Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay (now Mumbai). His education was primarily British. He attended the Rugby School and studied at King’s college, Cambridge. While his first novel, Grimus (1975), was not well received, his second novel, Midnight’s Children (1981) was critically acclaimed. After its publication he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983. Rushdie went on to publish other critically praised novels, such as Shame (1983). However, he is probably best known for his work, Satanic Verses (1988), and the backlash it garnered from Muslim groups in Pakistan, Egypt, and Iran for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran. Some groups went as far as calling for Rushdie’s death. Consequently, Rushdie went into hiding with his family. In 1998, the Iranian government renounced its death threats, and Rushdie and his family came out of hiding the following year. “The Perforated Sheet” is from his second novel, Midnight’s Children. The novel has elements of magical realism, postcolonial fiction, and postmodernism. Critics often compare it to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Rushdie pairs the magical elements of the text with a perspective that is distinctly Indian, weaving traditional Indian elements through the work.

Consider while reading:

  1. Do you see any of Rushdie’s characters as allegorical? Why or why not?
  2. Are there any elements of magical realism in Rushdie’s work?
  3. What biographical elements are present in Rushdie’s work?
  4. How would you categorize Rushdie’s writing?

Written by Laura Ng


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