Books

Midnight’s Children

Salman Rushdie (and others)

'Radio drama of the year' - Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

Nikesh Patel stars as Saleem in BBC Radio 4’s epic dramatisation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of love, history and magic

Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight on 14th-15th August 1947, at the exact moment that India and Pakistan become separate, independent nations. From that moment on, his fate is mysteriously handcuffed to the history of his country.

But Saleem’s story starts almost thirty years earlier, when his grandfather, Dr Aadam Aziz, falls in love with a woman concealed behind a perforated sheet. That pivotal moment in Kashmir in 1919 sparks a series of bizarre events that will lead to a cryptic prophecy and the birth of a boy with an extraordinary destiny.

As a ‘Midnight’s Child’, Saleem has magical powers, and can telepathically tune in to all the other gifted children whose birth coincided with India’s division. However, his strange entanglement with the fate of India will have dramatic repercussions for both him and his country…

Adapted by Ayeesha Menon, this dazzling dramatisation of Rushdie’s many-layered, magical realist masterpiece is both an enthralling family saga and a riveting history of post-colonialism. First broadcast to mark the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, it features Nikesh Patel as Saleem, with a star cast including Abhin Galeya, Meera Syal, Anneika Rose and Narinder Samra.

Also included is an interview with Salman Rushdie, in which the author talks to radio drama director Emma Harding about his multi-award winning novel.

Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, and was subsequently awarded the 'Booker of Bookers' prize in 1993 and 'The Best of the Booker' prize in 2008.

Duration: 4 hours 50 mins hours approx

The Golden House

Salman Rushdie

**New York Times bestseller**
A Guardian / Observer Book of the Year

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, taking 'Roman' names, and move into a grand mansion in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society.

The story of the Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful woman, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work.

Invoking literature, pop culture, and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, Gamergate and identity politics; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendency of the superhero movie, and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic, media-savvy villain wearing make-up and with coloured hair.

In a new world order of alternative truths, Salman Rushdie has written the ultimate novel about identity, truth, terror and lies. A brilliant, heartbreaking realist novel that is not only uncannily prescient but shows one of the world’s greatest storytellers working at the height of his powers.

Home

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie, a self-described ‘emigrant from one place and a newcomer in two’, explores the true meaning of home. Writing with insight, passion and humour, he looks at what it means to belong, whether roots are real and homelands imaginary, what it is like to reconfigure your past from fragments of memory and what happens when East meets West.

Selected from the books Shame, Imaginary Homelands and East, West by Salman Rushdie

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Race by Toni Morrison
Sisters by Louisa May Alcott

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Salman Rushdie

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub-Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights - or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

Haroun and Luka

Salman Rushdie

Haroun: What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?

I asked that question and the Unthinkable Thing happened: my father can’t tell stories anymore. That means no more laughter in the city of Alifbay and now the place stinks of sadness. So it’s up to me to put things right. If the water genie Iff can take me on the Hoopoe bird Butt all the way to Gup City then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to persuade the Grand Comptroller to give my father his Story Water supply back. Trouble is, that is strictly forbidden, one hundred percent banned, no way Jose territory...

Luka: What do sea monsters eat?

The Old Man of the River of Time: Fish and Ships. Why was six afraid of seven?

Luka: Because seven eight nine.

Luckily, my father is the Riddle King and taught me everything I know. But the stakes are high in this riddle battle, couldn’t be higher in fact! To save my father from Un-Life, I’ve got to beat the Old Man and steal the Fire of Life that burns at the top of the Mountain of Knowledge. Only problem is that nobody in the entire recorded history of the World of Magic has ever successfully stolen the Fire of Life...

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can read an interview with the author and solve some fiendish riddles!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Joseph Anton

Salman Rushdie

From the author of The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children, which was awarded the Best of the Booker Prize in 1993, comes an unflinchingly honest and fiercely funny account of a life turned upside-down.

On Valentine’s Day, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a telephone call from a BBC journalist that would change his life forever: Ayatollah Khomeini, a leading Muslim scholar, had issued him with a death sentence. This is his own account of how he was forced to live in hiding for over a decade; at once intimate and explosive, this is the personal tale behind the international story.

How does a man live with the constant threat of murder? How does he continue to work when deprived of his freedom? How does he sustain friendships, or fall in and out of love? How does he fight back? For over a decade, Salman Rushdie dwelt in a world of secrecy and disguise, a world of security guards and armoured cars, of aliases and code names.

In Joseph Anton, Rushdie tells the remarkable story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize

Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie

Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other 'midnight's children' all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem's story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious.

Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie

Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other 'midnight's children' all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem's story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious.

Luka and the Fire of Life

Salman Rushdie

IMAGINE
you are Luka, a twelve-year-old boy who has to save the life of the storyteller father you adore.

IMAGINE
you have two loyal companions by your side: a bear called Dog who can sing and a dog called Bear who can dance.

IMAGINE
you must now embark on a journey through the Magic World to steal the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly dangerous task...


With Haroun and the Sea of Stories Salman Rushdie proved that he is one of the best contemporary writers of fables, and it proved to be one of his most popular books with readers of all ages. While Haroun was written as a gift for his first son, Luka and the Fire of Life, the story of Haroun's younger brother, is a gift for his second son on his twelfth birthday. Lyrical, rich with word-play, and with the narrative tension of the classic quest stories, this is Salman Rushdie at his very best.

Luka and the Fire of Life

Salman Rushdie

On a beautiful starry night in the city of Kahani in the land of Alifbay a terrible thing happened: twelve-year-old Luka's storyteller father, Rashid, fell suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one could rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the Magic World, encountering a slew of phantasmagorical obstacles along the way, to steal the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly dangerous task.

With Haroun and the Sea of Stories Salman Rushdie proved that he is one of the best contemporary writers of fables, and it proved to be one of his most popular books with readers of all ages. While Haroun was written as a gift for his first son, Luka and the Fire of Life, the story of Haroun's younger brother, is a gift for his second son on his twelfth birthday. Lyrical, rich with word-play, and with the narrative tension of the classic quest stories, this is Salman Rushdie at his very best.

Imaginary Homelands

Salman Rushdie

Drawing from two political and several literary homelands, this collection presents a remarkable series of trenchant essays, demonstrating the full range and force of Salman Rushdie's remarkable imaginative and observational powers.

With candour, eloquence and indignation he carefully examines an expanse of topics; including the politics of India and Pakistan, censorship, the Labour Party, Palestinian identity, contemporary film and late-twentieth century race, religion and politics. Elsewhere he trains his eye on literature and fellow writers, from Julian Barnes on love to the politics of George Orwell's 'Inside the Whale', providing fresh insight on Kipling, V.S. Naipaul, Graham Greene, John le Carré, Raymond Carver, Philip Roth and Thomas Pynchon among others.

Profound, passionate and insightful, Imaginary Homelands is a masterful collection from one of the greatest writers working today.

The Enchantress of Florence

Salman Rushdie

When a young European traveller arrives at Sikri, the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tale he spins brings the whole imperial capital to the brink of obsession. He calls himself ‘Mogor dell’Amore’, the Mughal of Love, and claims to be the son of a lost princess, whose name and very existence has been erased from the country’s history: Qara Köz, or ‘Lady Black Eyes’.

Lady Black Eyes is a fabled beauty believed to possess great powers of enchantment and sorcery. After a series of abductions by besotted warlords, she finds herself carried to Machiavellian Florence. In her attempts to command her own destiny in a world ruled by men, Lady Black Eyes brings together the two great cities of sensual Florence and hedonistic Sikri, so far apart and yet so alike, and two worlds become dangerously entwined.

Shalimar the Clown

Salman Rushdie

Shalimar the Clown was once a figure full of love and laughter. His skill as a tightrope walker was legendary in his native home of Kashmir. But fate has played him cruelly, torn him away from his beloved home and brought him to Los Angeles, where he works as a chauffeur. One morning he gets up, goes to work, and brutally slays his employer, America’s former counter-terrorist chief Maximilian Ophuls, in full view of the victim’s illegitimate daughter, India. Despite the political overtones, it soon emerges that this is a murder with a much darker heart to it.

The killing has its roots halfway across the globe, back in Kashmir, a ruined paradise not so much lost as shattered. And gradually it emerges that beyond this unholy trinity of Max, India and Shalimar, lurks a fourth, shadowy figure, one who binds them all together.

Step Across This Line

Salman Rushdie

The subjects of Salman Rushdie's collection of non-fiction range from The Wizard of Oz, U2, India and Indian writing, the death of Princess Diana, and football, to twentieth-century writers including Angela Carter, Arthur Miller, Edward Said, J. M. Coetzee and Arundhati Roy.

In a central section, 'Messages from the Plague Years', Rushdie focuses on the fight against the Iranian fatwa, presenting texts both personal and political, which show for the first time how it was to live through those days. Rushdie's columns for the New York Times confront current issues - Kashmir, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Islam and the West - as well as lighter topics such as reality TV, sport and sleaze. The book ends with the lectures that give it its title - Rushdie's exploration of the theme of frontiers: crossing them, breaking taboos, and - in the light of September 11 - the world of permeable frontiers in which we all live.

Fury

Salman Rushdie

In the summer of 2000 New York is a city living at breakneck speed in an age of unprecedented decadence. And into this tumultuous city arrives Malik Solanka. His life has been a sequence of exits. He has left in his wake his country, family, not one but two wives, and now a child. But as his latest marriage disintegrates and the fury builds within him he fears he will become dangerous to those he loves. And so he steps out of his life once again and begins a new one in New York.

But New York is a city boiling with fury. Around Malik cab drivers spout obscenities, a serial killer is murdering women with a lump of concrete, and the petty spats and bone-deep resentments of the metropolis threaten to engulf him, as his own thoughts, emotions and desires reach breaking point.

The Jaguar Smile

Salman Rushdie

In this brilliantly focused and haunting portrait of the people, the politics, the land, and the poetry of Nicaragua, Salman Rushdie brings to the forefront the palpable human facts of a country in the midst of revolution.

Rushdie went to Nicaragua in 1986. What he discovered was overwhelming: a land of difficult, often beautiful contradictions, of strange heroes and warrior-poets. Rushdie came to know an enormous range of people, from the foreign minister - a priest - to the midwife who kept a pet cow in her living room.

His perceptions always heightened by his sensitivity and his unique flair for language, in The Jaguar Smile, Rushdie brings us the true Nicaragua, where nothing is simple, everything is contested, and life-or-death struggles are an everyday occurrence.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Salman Rushdie

On Valentine’s Day, 1989, Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, disappears in a devastating earthquake. Her lover, the singer Ormus Cama, cannot accept that he has lost her, and so begins his eternal quest to find her and bring her back. His journey takes him across the globe and through cities pulsating with the power of rock ’n’ roll, to Bombay, London and New York.

But around the star-crossed lover and his quest, the uncertain world itself is beginning to tremble and break. Cracks and tears are appearing in the very fabric of reality, and exposing the abyss beyond. And Ormus has to confront just how far he is willing to go for love.

The Satanic Verses

Salman Rushdie

Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked aeroplane blows apart high above the English Channel and two figures tumble, clutched in an embrace, towards the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India’s legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices.

Washed up, alive, on an English beach, their survival is a miracle. But there is a price to pay. Gibreel and Saladin have been chosen as opponents in the eternal wrestling match between Good and Evil. But chosen by whom? And which is which? And what will be the outcome of their final confrontation?

Vintage Book Of Indian Writing 1947 - 1997

Elizabeth West (and others)

The Indian subcontinent has produced some of the world's greatest writers, and a body of literature unsurpassed in its sustained imagination, impassioned lyricism and sparkling tragi-comedy. Now Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West have collected together the finest Indian writing of the last fifty years. Published to coincide with the anniversary of India's independence, it is an anthology of extraordinary range and vigour, as exciting and varied as the land that inspired it.

Including works by:

Mulk Raj Anand
Gita Mehta
Anjana Appachana
Ved Mehta
Vikram Chandra
Rohinton Mistry
Upamanyu Chatterjee
R. K. Narayan
Amit Chaudhuri
Jawaharlal Nehru
Nirad C. Chaudhuri
Padma Perera
Anita Desai
Satyajit Ray
Kiran Desai
Arundhati Roy
G. V. Desani
Salman Rushdie
Amitav Ghosh
Nayantara Sahgal
Githa Hariharan
I. Allan Sealy
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Vikram Seth
Firdaus Kanga
Bapsi Sidhwa
Mukul Kesavan
Sara Suleri
Saadat Hasan Manto
Shashi Tharoor
Kamala Markandaya
Ardashir Vakil

Grimus

Salman Rushdie

Flapping Eagle is a young Axona Indian gifted with immortal life after drinking an elixir from his wayward sister. But after 777 years of sailing the world’s seas, he becomes weary of life, and sets out to find the mystical Calf Island, a place where his fellow immortals have gathered and created their own version of the human race.

But Calf Island is a strange place – like its inhabitants, it is both blessed and cursed. Sensing a terrible darkness at the heart of the island, Flapping Eagle sets out to scale the island’s peak and confront its mysterious and potent creator, Grimus himself.

Salman Rushdie

Biography

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven novels, one collection of short stories, three works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the Best of the Booker, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its forty year history. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.