7 Must-Read Salman Rushdie Books and Stories

Ahmed Salman Rushdie is an American-British writer originally from India. He was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) India. He is an author and a well renowned religious satirist. Salman is known for controversial stories, magical realism and has been called a magician of words which has won him several awards and the hatred of millions and even the admiration of hundreds of million others.

Salman Rushdie Books and Stories

Salman Rushdie
Books of Salman Rushdie (Image Source)

1. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)

It is a novel that has its plot on how two men chase one woman for her love. The story is set between the 1950-1990s and is heavily inspired by rock music. The book is rich in its reference networks, the way cultures from the east and west, pre-colonial and post-colonial are woven together to create one of the most memorable fiction ever written, retelling the Orpheus/Eurydice myth in another way entirely.

2. Midnight’s Children (1981)

This is a novel that has its genre in the realm of magical realism and historiographic metafiction. The story follows the life and times of Saleem Anai, a boy born with supernatural powers of the sort. It is acclaimed that he has these superpowers because he was born on the stroke of midnight, 15th August 1947 which is the exact time that India attained independence.

He would later find out that other children born between midnight and 1 am on the same day had some super powers like him and he begins to bring them together to find out the reasons for their gifts. The book which is divided into 3 parts follows the historical timeline of India with events such as the independence of India, the Indira Gandhi proclaimed Emergency and the Sanjay Gandhi cleansing of the Jama Masjid slum being used as a plot in the story.

The book won the booker’s prize in 1981 and the bookers of booker in 1993 and 2008. It is one of the most recognized works of Salman and one of the most loved.

3. The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995)

This was the fifth publication of Salma. The book like most of his other works is set in India, this time in the cities of Mumbai and Cochin. The story follows how the protagonist of the book Moraes Zogoiby aka Moor traces four generations of his family and how their successes and failures have come to have an ultimate effect on his life. It also focuses on Moor’s illness as he grows twice as fast as the normal person, his deformity and his relationship with the women in his life which includes his mother, Sisters, first female tutor, and his first love. The book won the Whitebread and Aristeon prizes for the year 1995 and 1996 respectively.

4. Luka and the Fire of Live (2010)

One of his two children books, the story follows the life of Luka Khalifa and his father in the make-believe city of Kahani. The book was inspired by Salman watching his son play video games with its twist and turns and plots.

5. The Satanic Verses (1998)

When you mention Salman Rushdie’s name in public, this is perhaps the first book that comes to the mind. The book is one of the most controversial novels ever written and perhaps, the most sought after of Salman’s work. The book was so controversial that it was banned in India which is Salman’s country of birth and several other Islamic countries in Asia and the middle east.

The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei recited a fatwa for the assassination of Salman because of this book. The Satanic Verses follows two Indians of Islamic background, Chamcha, and Farishta who were held captive in a flight from India to England. The plane explodes in the sky but only both characters survive and at that moment, they took over the personalities of the Devil and Archangel Gabriel respectively. What follows is how both characters will work around their new personalities. Also included in the book was a controversial passage about the prophet Muhammed which brought the wide backlash from Islamic leaders around the world.

6. Shame (1983)

This was Salman’s third book, published and it shows the problem of ‘Line drawn on maps’ kind of country division where colonial masters just create borders without giving any reasonable thought to what will happen to the residents. Like many other books of Salman, the book is set in the Indian subcontinent when Pakistan was created for the Muslims and India for the Hindus and the activities that followed as explained by Iskander Harappa, the protagonist.

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7. Haroun and the Sea of Stories

This is a parable for the several problems that plague today’s society and most especially the Indian subcontinent as that is mostly the focus of Salman Rushdie. It views the social complexity and inequality of the underdeveloped part of the world. The book was dedicated to Salman’s son whom he was separated from a while.


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